Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Roland Rat helps mark TV milestone

Roland Rat paid a visit to the Daybreak studios
Roland Rat paid a visit to the Daybreak studios

Roland Rat, the puppet widely credited with rescuing the once ailing TV-AM, returned to ITV breakfast television to mark its 30th anniversary.

The character was introduced during the show's early days by TV executive - and later BBC director-general - Greg Dyke, and helped to turn around the then flagging audiences by attracting younger viewers,

Roland made a guest appearance on this morning's Daybreak, TV-AM's successor, exactly 30 years after breakfast programming on ITV began.

The first ever morning show on the network was presented by Sir David Frost, Sir Michael Parkinson, Angela Rippon, Anna Ford and the late Robert Kee, who died earlier this month.

The opening credits of the first ever TV-AM were played out in full on today's programme with the rodent character chattering over the top to presenters Kate Garraway and Aled Jones.

Roland told viewers: "In light of Beckham donating his fee to charity I'm going to donate my pathetic fee this morning for coming on here - £3.50, and I had to beg for that.

"I'm telling you I'm going to donate my fee to Kevin The Gerbil Charity for Rodent TV superstars to keep me in the life I'm accustomed to."

On the back of his popularity Roland released singles such as Rat Rapping and a cover of Love Me Tender. He went on to appear on the BBC and later on Channel 5.

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