Roland Rivron: Rock and Roll lifestyle of a man with the constitution of an ox

One thing that goes hand in hand with showbiz culture is the boozy lunch.

And of all the hedonistic stars-what-lunch, north London musician and comedian Rowland Rivron has had his fair share of meals ending with something bonkers – like cycling down the stairs of the Groucho Club.

Rivron, who you’re likely to recognise for his role on French and Saunders’ TV shows, has started to mellow (slightly) and commit his wine-fuelled adventures to paper in a revealing new book.

The drumstick-wielding 52-year-old said: “I am a massive fan of the long lunch, I have the constitution of an ox.

“I realised that I’ve spent 35 years in showbusiness and been in a lot of strange situations, so I thought I’d write them down.”

And so Rowland, who began his career when he was 16 as a session drummer in London’s West End, has just spent 18-months sitting down to long lunches (he was shocked to download the recording of his first lunch to find it was nearly five hours long) with those from his hazy history, including co-stars and producers.

“I thought that after I got them drunk they would call me a b****** but that didn’t really happen – apart from with Dawn (French) and Jenny (Saunders]).

Most Read

It turns out that at the time we worked together they were very annoyed with me – but looking back we were able to laugh about it.

“When I started out in comedy there was a purple period from the early eighties through to the late nineties – it was all pretty hectic.”

It was at that time that Rivron would go on daily benders with the likes of Adrian Edmondson, now his band mate alongside Phill Jupitus.

He says: “When we get together we do have a drink, but its not like the old days when we used to get slaughtered.

“We would to go down to the Royal Mail pub in Islington and play pool until 3pm, when they’d kick us out.

“Then we would go to a restaurant round the corner to drink wine until the pub opened again. The pool balls were all still in the same place so we’d carry on.”

Rowland Rivron will be reading extracts from his book, called What the F*** Did I do Last Night? at Wanstead Library, Spratt Hall Road, Wanstead on April 14, which will launch the six-week Redbridge Book and Media Festival.

Will he be setting himself on fire or climbing the walls naked, as he has done in the past? “I hope something exciting happens, I am just not really sure what that might be,” he warned.

Tickets, priced �7.50, are available from 0208 708 3044 or at

What the F*** Did I do Last Night? Priced �12.99, is published by Macmillan.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter