The World Gurning Championships are just around the corner, and gurners all over the country are preparing for the battle of the year.

The competition will take place at The Falcon Club, Egremont on Saturday, and everyone from previous winners to the mayor of Copeland are at the edge of their seats already.

Crowds will watch on as 2019’s winners are crowned, waiting to see if five-time winner Claire Spedding and three-time winner Adrian Zivelonghi will keep a tight clutch on their titles, or if a new champion will take their place.

Many who enter wish to have their name placed alongside World Guinness Record holder Tommy Mattinson, from Aspatria, who is famous throughout the country for being named Champion Gurner 16 times since 1986.

Claire, whose daughter Georgia Lister, 10, won the junior champion trophy last year, said: “We’ll definitely be competing again! We’re always nervous in the run-up, but once you’ve done it a few times on the night it’s always okay.

She added: “Georgia can’t wait, and she’s very competitive so she’s hoping to win again!”

But even those who don’t participate adore the competition, and Mike Starkie, mayor of Copeland, said: “Egremont Crab Fair is always one of the best weekends of the year.

“I’m from Egremont and have grown up with the Crab Fair as a big part of the community and never miss it. Enormous credit goes to the organising committee who work so tirelessly to pull it together and I’m sure it will be a weekend to remember.

“The World Gurning Championships are perhaps what the fair is best known for, and I’m sure they will be as popular and well-contested as ever. I’m looking forward to seeing the competitors put their best face forward!”

And the day wouldn’t be complete without royalty, and Crab Fair Queen of 2019, 12-year-old Ellie Dixon, who was crowned on Friday, will oversee the world-famous championship.

The council car park at Chapel Street will be closed until September 23 to accommodate the fairground, and recycling banks have also been relocated from Chapel Street to Beck Green until September 23.

Beck Green car park will continue to operate as normal; with payments for non-permit holders via pay-and-display.