POPULAR comedian Elis James has been named as president of the day at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Llandovery.

Each day, a well-known local face is named as president at the Urdd Eisteddfod.

Following Owain Wyn Evans on Thursday, Elis James was named president of the day on Friday, June 2.

Elis, originally hailing from Haverfordwest and growing up in Carmarthen, began his career as a stand-up in 2005 and has since performed at festivals all over the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

He has appeared on a number of TV and radio programs and has written three hour-long stand-up show for S4C.

His BBC Radio 5live show with John Robins won the gold award for the ‘Funniest Radio Show’ at the 2020 Aria Awards, and he has performed his podcast, The Socially Distant Sports Bar with Mike Bubbins and Steff Garrero, at Cardiff’s International Arena and it has since been transferred to BT Sport.

Elis also writes and presents the Fantasy Football League on Sky alongside Matt Lucas, and he writes about football for The Guardian.

When asked about his favourite memories of the Urdd, Elis said: “Visiting Llangrannog when I was 11 years old, I shared a room with children from Penybont ar Ogwr who I didn’t know and made friends straight away.

“I went to a small primary school in Haverfordwest and an even smaller Welsh language unit, and I once went as far as the County Eisteddfod competing in the individual recitation.

“We then moved to Carmarthen and Ysgol y Dderwen school was like the Real Madrid of the Urdd Eisteddfod.

“My sisters would often reach the stage at the National level, all of their performance have been filmed and kept at home.

“Without a doubt, performing as a young boy gave me confidence, and I’ve never had a problem with public speaking since.”

Building on his experience from competing at the Urdd, Elis was asked if he had any advice to pass on.

“I stayed with a family in north Wales during the Maelor Eisteddfod in 1996,” he said. “My mam bought me a box of Quality Street to give as a gift to the host, but I ate them all on the way up and was sick on the bus. Don’t do what I did!”

Elis was asked about what it meant to be named as president of the day.

“It’s such a privilege and really special because the Eisteddfod is being held in my heartland,” he said.

Carmarthen-based indie-rock band Adwaith – comprised of Hollie Singer, Gwenllian Anthony and Heledd Owen – were named Triban Festival president along with Heledd Watkins – lead singer the art/rock band HMS Morris.

Details of next year’s Urdd Eisteddfod has also been announced – which will be held at Mathrafal farm, near Meifod, between May 27 and June 1.

Siân Eirian, director of the Urdd Eisteddfod and the arts, said: “The Urdd is looking forward to bringing the Eisteddfod back to Maldwyn in 2024. The Urdd Eisteddfod was last held in the area in 1988 and excitement is already being felt throughout the county.

“We look forward to working with the communities and volunteers of Maldwyn over the next twelve months as we prepare for a fantastic event in 2024.”