LAKESIDE Country Club owner Bob Potter has joined a small group - including Prince Charles, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Michael of Kent - after show business charity The Grand Order of Water Rats made him a "Companion Water Rat".

The ceremony was held at the "Rats'" headquarters in London. Veteran comedian Sir Norman Wisdom, a long time friend of Mr Potter, flew in from his home on the Isle of Man for the celebrations.

Founded in 1889, The Grand Order of Water Rats is one of the showbiz world's oldest charitable organisations. Only existing members can propose new members - and since it was formed just 835 individuals have been given the title of "Water Rat".

The entertainers who proposed Bob were magician David Berglass and master of ceremonies Brynn Williams.

The organisation's unusual name relates to a racehorse, owned by founder members, which lost a race in torrential rain. It was said to look like a "drowned rat" and led to the group calling themselves The Water Rats… which is also star spelt backwards.

Bob built the award-winning Lakeside Country Club at Frimley Green in 1972 and turned it into a top cabaret club with performers from all over the world taking the stage. Later this year Lakeside celebrates its 30th anniversary, which will be marked with a spectacular charity evening on Sunday, November 10.

Bob said: "I am honoured to have been invited to become a Companion Water Rat - and when you see the names of other Companions, it makes you feel humble. Lakeside has always been a great supporter of The Grand Order of Water Rats. Back in the Seventies, the club hosted the organisation's first royal charity night, attended by Princess Margaret."