Louise Gold featured as one of the Ratcrew puppeteering Iris (Roland’s Mother), and Roxanne (a scouse rat) on Roland Rat The Series (Broadcast on 6, 13, 20 & 27 September, 4, 11, 18 & 25 October, 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29 November 1986, plus a Christmas Special 25 December 1986); and, Roland Rat The Series Two (Broadcast in 1988)
David Claridge – as Roland Rat, Reggie Rat (Roland’s little brother), Freddy Rat (Roland’s Father), and pretty much all the other male characters wherever possible
Louise Gold – as Iris Rat (Roland’s Mother), Roxanne (a scouse rat who was one of Roland’s girlfriends)
Leslie Herbert - Assistant Puppeteer
Ann Prior - ?
Maggie Danylewicz - ?
Darryl Worbey – Assistant Puppeteer
Other male characters include: Fergie The Ferret (male), Colin The Flea, Eric The Eagle, Errol The Hamster, and, Kevin The Gerbil
Trying to actually find out concrete information about the puppetry on this programme seems to be difficult. Much of it appears to be something of a mystery. And of the six puppeteers on this series, three of them do not appear to have been heard of much since in television puppetry.
Some sources have given Leslie Herbert as performing Errol The Hamster, and Darryl Worbey as puppeteering Kevin The Gerbil. However, it is possible that they puppeteered the characters only whenever those characters were actually in a shot with Roland Rat himself, and that even then, David Claridge did their voices; and whenever those characters were alone in the shot, he would have often puppeteered them himself.
Glenis The Guinea Pig was presumably puppeteered & voiced by either Ann Prior or Maggie Danylewicz. At any rate, Louise Gold definitely did not do that character.
It should perhaps be noted that Roxanne only appeared in Series 2, not Series 1. She did however duet I Got You Babe with Roland. Which was the only occasion that Louise Gold’s singing abilities were exercised in the entire two series.
It should perhaps be clarified that Malcolm Jones the visual effects person, is not the archivist of the same name.
James Saxon – as Darcy De Farcy and others
Anna Karen – as Maureen McConkey (The RatCave Secretary) and others
Leslie Ash (Series 1: Episode 7, and, Episode 9)
Colin Baker (Series 1: Episode 3) – as Dr Who
Floella Benjamin (Series 1: Episode 11),
Brian Blessed (Series 1: Episode 1, Episode 13, and, Christmas Special)
Tim Brooke-Taylor (Series 1: Episode 1)
John Challis (Series 1: Episode 6)
Curiosity Killed The Cat [a pop group](Series 1: Episode 2)
Ross Davidson (Series 1: Episode 6)
Erasure [a pop group] (Series 1: Episode 7, and, Episode 9)
Samantha Fox (Series 1: Episode 1, and, Christmas Special)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood [presumably a pop group] (Series 1: Episode 11)
Guy an Extra (Series 1: Episode 8)
Aled Jones (Series 1: Christmas Special)
Nik Kershaw (Series 1: Episode 6)
Nicholas Parsons (Series 1: Episode 7, Episode 8, and, Episode 9)
Iggy Pop (Series 1: Christmas Special)
Peter Powell (Series 1: Episode 7, Episode 8, Episode 9, and, Episode 10)
Mike Read (Series 1: Episode 9) – as voice of announcer & interviewer
Alexi Sayle (Series 1: Episode 11) - as Game Show Host Maxwell De Farcy (Darcy De Farcy’s brother)
Chris Tarrant (Series 1: Episode 13, and, Christmas Special) – as the man (busker) collecting for the poor
A Margaret Thatcher Impersonator [it does not seem to be known who it was] (Series 1: Episode 3)
Conceived by – David Claridge
Written by – David Claridge, Colin Bostock-Smith, Carson & Tomlinson, John Langdon, and, Steve Punt
Roland Rat Workshop – John Blundell
Title Music – Stock, Aitken, and, Waterman
Cameraman – David Gray,
Sound Recordist – Doug Mawson
Film Editor – Nick Hutchings
Properties Buyer – Bob Warrans
Graphic Designer – Iain Greenway
Visual Effects Designer – Malcolm Jones
Camera Supervisor – Spencer Payne, and, Douglas Watson
Technical Co-Ordinates – Jim Cook, Mike Chislett, and, Terry Wild
Vision Mixers – Hilary Briegel, and, Barbara Gainsley
Videotape Editors – Mark Lawrence, Peter Bird, Brian Cutts, Nick Peto, and, Simon Ashcroft
Make-Up Designer – Cecile Hay-Arthur
Costume Designer – Ken Trevor
Production Team – Simon Spencer, Claire Sharp, Jane Jenkins, Stephen Garwood, and, Kathleen Reid
Sound – Alan Machin
Lighting – Peter Catlett, Nigel Wright, and, Graham Rimmington
Production Manager – Nick Fiveash
Designers – Grenville Horner, and, Donal Woods
Produced, and, Directed by – Marcus Mortimer
The Series’s best known puppeteers, Louise Gold and David Claridge, had previously both played guests on the same episode of For 4 Tonight. In fact it was while making that appearance that David Claridge asked Louise Gold if she would be interested in joining his RatCrew.
Sadly James Saxon went on to conclude his acting career playing Don Alhambra Del Bolero (the George Grossmith role) in a production of The Gondoliers. Unfortunately he died during the run of that show.
Darryl Worbey went on to work on The Muppet Christmas Carol.
Tim Brooke-Taylor may have gone on to appear in Comedy Tonight.
Angela Curran went on to appear in Topsy Turvy.
Ross Davidson had previously appeared in The Pirates Of Penance (Film).
Nicholas Parsons went on to appear in the Side By Side By Sondheim 30th Anniversary Gala, for which Bob Warrens was also purchasing props.
Alexei Sayle went on to star in Alexei Sayle’s Merrygoround.
Pete Waterman (of Stock, Aitkin & Waterman) went on to narrate ABBA - The Reunion.
Simon Spencer went on to work on Mopatop’s Shop.
David Claridge, Louise Gold, and, Nicholas Parsons went on to take part in the television documentary The Wonderful World Of Puppets.
Erasure appeared in a clip on the television documentary ABBA – The Mamma Mia! Story.
Angela Curran, Erasure, and, Samantha Fox may have taken part in Thing A Thon.
Nicholas Parsons, and, Chris Tarrant appeared in ITV’s 50 Greatest Shows.
Links about Roland Rat
Ratfans, the unofficial Roland Rat Fansite: http://www.ratfans.com/index.htm
Official Site: www.rolandrat.tv (This did not appear to be working when your webmaster tried it last)
MSN Group: http://groups.msn.com/RolandRat20thanniversary (Includes some incomplete episode guides)
Tibby’s Bowl / Muppet Central Interview with Louise Gold (where she specifically mentions encountering David Claridge on For 4 Tonight): http://www.muppetcentral.com/articles/interviews/gold.shtml
Internet Movie Database Entry: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0186772/
Do You Remember.co.uk’s page for the programme: http://www.doyouremember.co.uk/memory.asp?memID=4181
Share.Tv’s page for the programme (which mistakenly has Louise down as performing Glenis, which she did not do): http://sharetv.org/shows/roland_rat_the_series_uk