Roland Lee Gift was born in Birmingham, England grew up in Hull.
Andy Cox and David Steele chose Gift as the lead singer of their new band in 1985 after their former band, The Beat, broke up.
He worked in various theatre, television, and movie roles beginning early in his career after joining Fine Young Cannibals. His first role was in the 1987 film Sammy and Rosie Get Laid. He didn’t appear on stage until 1990 when he landed a part as Romeo in 1990 for a production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in Hull Truck Theatre, which had a brief run in the USA at the Staller Centre for the Arts. Later, in 1993, he had a reoccurring role in the popular series Highlander: The Series as the Immortal Xavier St. Cloud.
Gift released his first solo album since the official breakup of the band Fine Young Cannibals in 1992, self-titled, in 2002. It featured the single “It’s Only Money”. He waited until 2007 to go back to the recording studio for a follow-up album.
In 2019 Roland debuted his play Return to Vegas (based on a true story that didn’t happen) on BBC radio 4. His monologue – Sparkhill (night chips and the trees on Ivor road) was broadcast this year, 2021 as part of radio four’s United Kingdoms strand.
In the last couple Roland has been commissioned, again by Radio 4 to write another radio drama titled A Punks Progress, a story about when he and a couple of friends followed the Clash on tour in 1978.