Layton Williams’ dancing past – West End roles, ‘fix’ claims and judge’s support

Layton Williams is one of the 15 contestants taking part in the 2023 series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The 29-year-old actor, singer and dancer has been partnered with Nikita Kuzmin and the pair are hoping to lift the prestigious glitterball trophy at the end of the series in December.

Speaking about joining the glitzy show, Layton said: "Absolutely buzzing to confirm that I will be taking part in the most iconic dance competition in the UK! It's time to bring it to the Ballroom. So excited to learn new skills from the best. Bring on the sequins… all the sequins!"

READ MORE: Strictly's Layton Williams addresses show fix fury over his dance background

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Past roles

Before appearing on Strictly, Layton played lead roles in West End productions of Billy Elliot and Everybody's Talking About Jamie. He has also appeared in Rent, Hairspray and Kiss Me, Kate and fans may recognise him from BBC sitcom Bad Eduction, where he plays Stephen Carmichael since 2012, and Sky Atlantic's comic drama I Hate Suzie Too.

Earlier this year, he earned more fame as he worked as a voiceover on BBC Three's LGBT dating show, I Kissed A Boy.

Arlene Phillips' support

Former Strictly judge Arlene Jones showed her support for Layton in a gushing social media post just before Layton took to the famous dancefloor for the first time. Ahead of his debut, Arlene logged into Instagram to share a snap of herself and Layton posing the Oliver Awards red carpet.

The choreographer penned alongside the snap: "My darling @laytonwilliams I’ve got that #fridayfeeling buzzing as I await your debut on @bbcstrictly tomorrow night. I know you’ll be giving it the Layton slay and I’ll be watching you #friendship #support #strictlycomedancing #bbcstrictly #dancelife."

Layton replied to Arlene's post in the comment section, writing: "Awww! Love ya Arlene. Promise I'll slay as much as I can."

'Fix' claims

Layton has previously hit back at "fix" claims as critics questioned his past dance experience. When he was confirmed as part of the Strictly line-up last month, social media user rushed to the announcement to point out he'd been to threatre school and dances professionally for a living.

However, Layton took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to write: “Lemme clear up this *fact* real quick. I had my 1st introduction to Ballroom and Latin class in rehearsals yesterday (along with the rest of the @bbcstrictly cast) and it was so much fun. When one user quickly replied that they hoped he was “dumped in week one”, Layton fired back: “No one gets voted out week 1 luckily.”

Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturday and Sunday on BBC One

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