ROLAND Rat is the rodent who single-handedly saved TV-AM, famously described as “the only rat to join a sinking ship” in the 1980s. He soon found fame and fortune and has, along with his sidekick Kevin the Gerbil, gone from living in a rundown cave under Kings Cross Station to a home in Beverley Hills - quite literally underneath the famous Hollywood sign. For more details you can follow Roland on Twitter @RolandRat or visit his website

What was your first car?

The Northern Echo:

My first car was a 1953 Ford Anglia sprayed pink. It was a pile of old junk that Kevin the Gerbil bought for £85 from a conman called D'Arcey de Farcey in 1983.

Now 30 years or more later it's a retro classic car innit. One of TV's most famous cars it's worth a fortune. We customised it with a new engine, turbo body, leek shooting headlights like a Bond car, revolving number plates etc ... and called it the Ratmobile!

We have made numerous toys of the vehicle over the years and featured it on t-shirts in books etc.

How many times did it take to pass your test?

What test? l ain’t passed no test, l'm a rodent superstar and as such l do not need to pass a test.

l did try once and we filmed it, the examiner was the most miserable bloke l have ever met. l forgot to take the handbrake off which he reminded me! 

Then of course l hit the car in front of me cos he was makin' me feel nervous. At that point the engine blew up and l called it a day and ain't bothered since!

Kev bought the car, l drive it simple - no insurance, no road tax, don't bother with all that nonsense, l'm famous yeah!

Who would be your ideal fantasy passenger and where would you go?

The Northern Echo: Kim Kardashian has thanked fans for their support

My ideal fantasy passenger would be Kim Kardashian and we would drive to Vegas from Los Angeles. We could have a mindless conversation about fame and how you can be famous with little or no talent. 

Actually now l come to think of it, l don't think it would work cos l'd have to have the bucket seats removed to get her famous posterior in!  

What is your dream car?

The Northern Echo: Top gear: James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 features a revolving FMP 7B number plate and tracking device

My dream car has always been a Rolls Royce but l think they are too ostentatious now and look dated and borin', so l'd rather have an Aston Martin DB5, preferably not sprayed pink, but with an ejector seat so l could get rid of Kev when he irritates me!

How would you describe your driving style?

My drivin' style is that of a superstar rodent. Everyone needs to get out the way when l'm on the road! 

Trouble is everyone stares cos they can't believe they have just seen a living legend on the highway!

Tell me one driving anecdote from your past?

I was stopped by the police in York and asked for licence, insurance etc. l told him l didn't bother with all that rubbish so they impounded the Ratmobile. Before they took the car he naturally asked me for my autograph which l gave him. Then he drove off and left his gold-plated pen with me so l told Kev to forget the car cos the pen was worth more than our pile of old junk. I collect parking tickets too, glove box is full of 'em - superstars can park anywhere, normal rules do not apply! 

What are you listening to?

The music l listen to in the Ratmobile is usually me own, otherwise it would be The National, Die Antwoord, Beirut, Neutral Milk Hotel or These New Puritans.

What do you drive now?

The Northern Echo: The Hollywood sign on the Santa Monica mountains in Los Angeles was originally created as an advertisement for local real estate development in 1923

l still drive the Ratmobile cos it's a retro classic now. We have had it shipped to the US of A where l now live in Ratcave2 under the Hollywood sign. 

We are currently developing a Roland Rat Movie in Tinsel Town!  But l still love all my Ratfans back in Blighty and you can always find me on Twitter or Facebook or at fab fan site yeah!