Roland Gidleigh-Park is a recurring character in The New Statesman, and is portrayed by veteran British actor Charles Gray.
Roland is Alan's father-in-law, and runs the local Conservative Party in Haltemprice. He is a contemptible character, not dissimilar to Alan, although unlike Alan appears to have an interest in his constituency and the people within it. He is very old, walks with a stick, and appears to have been 21 at the time of the 1926 Miner's Strike, incidentally owning a coal mine in Ingleborough which he used to store a stockpile of mustard gas the government had planned to use on the striking miners.
Roland has very archaic views, refusing to touch foreign food or drink. In "Waste Not, Want Not" he utters French sayings in conversation, and refuses to repeat them ever again when Sarah points out their origins. As a casual racist he has an old-fashioned attitude towards foreigners, referring to black persons as "darkies." He relishes South African cuisine [at the height of Apartheid.] His dislike of the French stems from a sexual encounter he had as a young man with a French woman called Giselle, who gave him a nasty STD. He once refused to support Leon Brittan's membership with the Conservatives purely on the basis that he was Jewish.
Like Alan, he is a scheming rogue, although due to his advanced age it is possible he no longer indulges himself as much as he used to. In "Waste Not, Want Not" it is revealed that he dumped a large amount of mustard gas in a mine underneath a primary school. He regularly chastises Alan for not spending enough time in Haltemprice and frequently threatens to redact his membership from the Tory Party.
- Gray is best known for his portrayal of Bond villain Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever.
- Roland only appears in Series 1, although is referenced in dialogue in later series.