Norwich comedian to continue as leader of prestigious Grand Order of Water Rats society for showbiz stars

Ian Richards, who is to be King Rat of the Grand Order of the Water Rats for the second year running

Ian Richards, who is to be King Rat of the Grand Order of the Water Rats for the second year running. Picture: Grand Order of Water Rats. - Credit: Archant

A Norwich comedian is to continue at the helm of a prestigious showbiz fraternity and charitable organisation for the second year running.

Ian Richards is to continue as King Rat of the London-based Grand Order of Water Rats, and he is one of only a handful of entertainers to have held the office in two consecutive years since the organisation was formed in 1889.

Past King Rats have included Rick Wakeman, Bud Flanagan, Tommy Trinder, Ted Ray, Frankie Vaughan, Danny La Rue, Les Dawson, Roy Hudd and Joe Pasquale.

Celebrity members of the organisation also include Queen guitarist Brian May, Iron Maiden drummer Nicko Mc Brain, Bruce Forsyth and Jimmy Tarbuck. The order also has three Royal Companion Rats - the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Prince Michael of Kent.

Mr Richards, who is originally from Diss and was born Richard Ian Mayhew, returned to live in Norwich a couple of years ago.

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He is a member of Royal Norwich Golf Club and has hosted his Comedy Classic Charity Golf Tournament there for the last four years, raising money for The Grand Order of Water Rats charitable fund. He has also been keen to support Parkside School and Hospital Radio Norwich.

There have only ever been 895 Water Rats initiated since 1889 and there can only ever be 200 members at any one time.

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