True story behind one of the UK’s most bizarre and recognised faces

WITH the weird skill to fold his face in two, Dai Llewelyn’s gurning gob was some of the recognisable within the nation.

His elastic jaw allowed him to tug a face as grotesque because it was hilarious — making him an ideal topic for cheeky postcards that have been despatched from seaside resorts throughout Britain.


Gurning king Dai Llewelyn used his elastic jaw to carry pleasure to individuals for many years[/caption]

However though showing to be extra cartoonish than a cartoon character, the true story behind this champion gurner tells of a quiet however vibrant life in rural Wales.

Dai Llewelyn saved locals within the small city of Mountain Ash, Cynon Valley, entertained along with his rubber-faced antics over his 87 completely happy years there.

Born in 1896, Dai was within the arts and acting from an early age and even helped carry massive acts to the distant space.

His knowledgeable gurning bought him on levels throughout the nation — together with a stint beneath the brilliant lights of London’s Hammersmith Palais.


Mr Llewelyn lived in Mountain Ash, Wales all his life[/caption]


Dai Llewelyn was described as trying much more like Popeye than Popeye[/caption]

Dai handed away aged 87 in 1983

There he met singing icon Gracie Fields and in 1924 invited her again to Wales to carry out for the coal-mining group in Mountain Ash.

Such was his influence on her that the star agreed to return and carry out once more in 1938 on the small Mountain Ash Pavillion proper on the peak of her reputation.

And Dai’s personal expertise could be recognised with a number of honours and accolades.

Few awards surpassed his victory within the Ugly Duckling competitors on the hit TV present The Golden Shot — hosted by the legendary Bob Monkhouse.

However his runner up finishes within the World Gurning Championships — the place rivals battle it out to tug probably the most hideous face potential — have been additionally up there amongst his most spectacular profession highlights.


Dai appeared on stage, featured on postcards and even appeared on TV[/caption]


Mr Llewelyn was described as ‘the grasp of make-believe’[/caption]

He reached second place a complete of thrice in his illustrious face-bending profession.

However day-to-day Dai was very happy to maintain households guffawing with appearances at carnivals and gala’s in Cynon Valley.

Native historian Bernard Baldwin stated that the much-loved Mr Llewelyn was “the grasp of make-believe”.

He wrote in his e-book Mountain Ash Remembered: “He figured prominently in each carnival ever held within the city, and yr after yr appeared in some costume that was authentic — and sometimes distinctive.

“On one event he appeared because the Lord Mayor of Mountain Ash, contemporary from the soup kitchen.

“He appeared in a tattered swimsuit, a battered high hat and sporting a sequence of workplace.

“On one other event he appeared as Popeye — and no person appeared extra just like the well-known sailor than Popeye himself!”

His loss of life in 1983, on the age of 87, was a blow to the group.

However his legacy lives on because the World Gurning Championship continues to develop in status and competitor numbers.

Happening on the Egremont Crab Truthful within the Lake District — which having been established in 1267 is likely one of the longest-running gala’s on the earth — the gurning contest is amongst its hottest occasions.

Contestants need to put their heads by way of a horse collar and “snarl like a canine, look savage, and warp their faces”.

If he knew at this time the influence he has had on the noble sport, Dai Llewelyn would make sure you crack a smile — regardless of how ugly it was.

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