Episode 004: World Gurning Championship

 Adrian Zivelonghi

Adrian Zivelonghi

England was a rough place in 1267.

It was the High Middle Ages.  Literally, the Medieval Times. The Magna Carta had been signed just 50 years prior. King Henry I’s family had been battling to stay in power for the 200 years.  The Inquisition was just starting up.  The 100 Year War and the Black Death hadn’t happened yet.  

It was pretty much Game of Thrones type stuff going on.  

Hell, if there was ever a time for dragons, this was the time for dragons.

And it was in this world that the competition known as Gurning was born.

What is Gurning, you ask?  Gurning is a  competition based on what some people call Grimacing - or “pulling a face”. The goal is to try and make your face look as ugly or ridiculous as possible.

Come along with us on this episode we travel back in time and across the ocean to England to meet some modern-day competitors of this medieval sport.

First, we'll start with Stephen Foster, the Chairman of the World Gurning Championship.  Stephen will help us sort through the origins of Gurning and give us some insight into the actual competition itself, which takes place every September at the Egremont Crab Fair in England.

Next, we'll meet some competitors.  We'll meet Gordon Blacklock who has been Gurning for 38 years!  From Gordon, we'll move onto Tommy Mattinson who is one of the most winning Gurners of all time.  And then we'll meet the current reigning champion Adrian Zivelonghi. 

These guys are all extremely interesting and funny characters that you just have to meet!

Are you ready to Gurn?   Take a shot of your bestest, gurniest grin!  Post it in the comments or on our Facebook page and we'll post some of our own.

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Here's some more Gurning!

 Adrian Zivelonghi.  World Gurning Champ 2016 and 2017!  

Adrian Zivelonghi.  World Gurning Champ 2016 and 2017!
 

  Tommy Mattinson. 15 time World Gurning Champion.  

Tommy Mattinson. 15 time World Gurning Champion.  

 Gordon Blacklock. 3rd Place 2017

Gordon Blacklock. 3rd Place 2017

Ted Ladue