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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 October, 2004, 18:28 GMT 19:28 UK
Village's last laugh at TV comedy
By Carl Yapp
BBC Wales News Online

A road sign

It's the Welsh village put on the map by cult TV comedy Little Britain - even if not everyone in Llanddewi Brefi is entirely happy about it.

So as the show's stars David Walliams and Matt Lucas visited Cardiff, how are the good folk of Llanddewi 85 miles north handling their new-found fame?

As the hundreds of fans who mobbed Walliams and Lucas in Cardiff know, the BBC version of Llanddewi-Brefi is home to Daffyd, "the only gay in the village".

But I was the only reporter in the village to discover that while some welcome the attention, others have had enough of Daffyd - and his tight rubber shorts.

We've all wondered why the writers picked Llanddewi - do they know the only gay in the village?
Yvonne Edwards, pub landlady

Daffyd is one of the show's best-loved characters and will appear again in the new series starting on BBC 3 on 19 October, with Lucas as an isolated and outrageously flamboyant "gayer".

But while he flaunts his sexuality in a variety of flesh-baring rubber outfits and make-up, the villagers are completely indifferent to him. Worse, he is infuriated to encounter fellow gays in virtually every corner of Llanddewi Brefi.

But, from the outside looking in, the attitude shown by the locals in the series shadows life in the real Llanddewi Brefi.

Matt Lucas as Daffyd in Little Britain
Village people: Matt Lucas as the rubber-loving Daffyd

Many in the village seem bemused, and even annoyed, by the attention, while others simply don't get the programme.

Some wanted to know why Llanddewi Brefi was chosen. Another criticised the spelling, when a genuinely Welsh "Dafydd" would have one 'f' and two 'd's.

If that is not enough, the village shopkeeper opened a new can of worms by claiming that Daffyd is - wait for it - not the only gay in Llanddewi Brefi.

With a population of 500, mostly Welsh speaking, Llanddewi is a typical Welsh village.

It is quiet, in the shadow of an imposing mountain, friendly, welcoming, and hasn't altered for generations, but that adds to its charm and is one of its main attractions.

There are two pubs in Llanddewi
The village has a population of 500
Welsh patron saint David is said to have preached at the church
The Gay Times is not sold at the village newsagents

Neil Driver, who is originally from Essex, runs Siop Brefi with his wife Glesni, joked: "I only sell the Gay Times to order and one hasn't been placed with me yet.

"There's been a lot of speculation about whether there are any gays in Llanddewi Brefi and perhaps there's one or two, Dafydd may not be the only one.

"Little Britain has had an impact on the village. We've had a few people visiting wanting to have their pictures taken by the sign at the entrance to the village.

"I've had some T-shirts printed with 'Dafydd isn't the only gay in Llanddewi Brefi' and I've sold about 40 to tourists.

Neil Driver with one of his T-shirts
Shopkeeper Neil Driver has sold 40 of his T-shirts to tourists

"Many of the locals find the show funny, but there's much more to Llanddewi than Little Britain.

"St David preached at the village church and the ground is said to have risen beneath him to allow people to see him. Many of us are looking forward to the new show and want to see how Dafydd gets on."

In the series, the local pub has a variety of names, including The Scarecrow And Mrs King, but the joke is wearing a little thin for Yvonne Edwards, landlady of the real thing, the New Inn.

"I've seen no change in Llanddewi as a result of Little Britain," she said.

"I reckon about 95% of the village hasn't seen the show, the rest find it funny.

"I didn't watch it until all the press speculation and then when I first saw it I didn't get it - I just didn't know where it was coming from. Now I think it's clever."

Llandewi-Brefi T-shirt
Dafydd isn't the only gay in Llanddewi-Brefi, says the T-shirt

She added: "We've all wondered why the writers picked Llanddewi - do they know the only gay in the village?

"Perhaps they've been here or they know someone who once lived here?

"They seem to know there's a VD clinic in Lampeter so they've done their research."

Resident Beryl Davies wondered: "When they say Dafydd why do they have to pronounce it 'Dafid'?"

"I've seen it but I don't watch it regularly - there's nothing much there that appeals to Welsh people in Llanddewi-Brefi."

One of the only real Dafydds in the village - a furniture maker - was nowhere to be seen when we called by.

Meanwhile, a long way away from Llanddewi Brefi, around 300 fans queued outside Virgin Megastore in Cardiff city centre to meet the stars.

Walliams and Lucas arrived in character, as perennially patient carer Lou pushed monosyllabic friend Andy Pitkin in his wheelchair through the queue outside.

David Walliams and Matt Lucas
Walliams and Lucas, as Lou and Andy, meet the Cardiff public

The comedy couple signed copies of the DVD and book, chatting away to fans - while remaining true to their screen roles throughout.

Student Sarah Rennie, 19, was first in the queue and said: "It's hilarious, I love the characters and the warped sense of humour.

"I particularly like Andy and I've dressed up as him for a fancy dress party," added Sarah, who is herself in a wheelchair.

"My friend dressed as his friend Lou and we went together - I don't find it offensive in the least."

Renee Busuttil, 24, said: "It's so different and very colourful. I like the fact that it's from across Britain and they have Scottish and Welsh characters - it's brilliant."

Richard Harding, 30, added: "I suppose it's along the same lines as League of Gentlemen, very funny."

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