Sharpe Company to bring back Roland Rat

Rodent to make a comeback after firm picks up worldwide merchandising rights.
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The Sharpe Company is bringing back a British icon from the 1980s, having scooped the worldwide merchandising rights to Roland Rat.

Roland Rat made his TV debut in 1983, becoming a household name thanks to his appearances on breakfast TV station TV-am. Within a few months, he took the audience from 100,000 to 1.8 million. He was soon joined by colleagues Errol the Hamster and Kevin the Gerbil.

During the past two decades, Roland has starred in over 400 TV programmes, recorded several music albums, hosted his own radio show and made numerous guest appearances in shows such as The Weakest Link, Big Brother and Ashes to Ashes.

In addition, Roland Rat has just been chosen by The Daily Mirror as one of the top ten puppet characters on British TV.

During his reign on British TV, Roland Rat had over 100 licensed products including soft toys, bed linen, toothbrushes and apparel.

Charlie Day, president of Sharpe, handled the campaign before relocating from the UK to Los Angeles.

"With many retro licensed characters being reinvented, Roland is one of the last remaining household character names ready to pull the memory heart strings of adults and be introduced to a new audience," Day commented. "This favourite UK character has tremendous potential for growth with new audiences and older fans alike."

The new licensing programme will begin with Roland Rat online gaming slot machines and scratch cards. Other categories are also open.

Day continued: "Roland is known for his distinctive laugh and funny catchphrases. He will make a perfect 'spokes-rat' for the right company."

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