Strictly Newbie Layton Williams Explains Why Being In A Same-Sex Pairing Is So Important To Him

The Everybody’s Talking About Jamie star is excited to “be flung around and wear some glittery costumes”.
Layton Williams
Layton Williams
David M. Benett via Getty Images

Layton Williams is joining the cast of Strictly Come Dancing 2023, and the West End star is particularly excited to be part of the show’s latest same-sex dance pairing.

During an appearance on Friday’s edition of The One Show, Layton confirmed that he is keen to be teamed up with a male dancer, following in the footsteps of stars like Bake Off champion John Whaite, who was paired with Johannes Radebe in 2021, and presenter Richie Anderson, who danced with Giovanni Pernice last year.

The show’s first same-sex pairing came in 2020, when boxer Nicola Adams was teamed up with Katya Jones. Last year also saw comedian Jayde Adams performing with Karen Hauer.

“I’m happy so long as it’s a guy,” Layton told guest presenter Richie Anderson. “I’ve said I want to dance with a man, I want to be thrown around.”

He added: “Basically, at college I used to always be very jealous of the girls being thrown around and I was like ‘I want to be that’, so I can’t wait to be flung around and wear some glittery costumes,” he added.

Layton later told the BBC that he was “absolutely buzzing” to be “taking part in the most iconic dance competition in the UK”, adding that he was “so excited to learn new skills from the best”.

The actor’s first brush with fame came when he appeared in the West End production of Billy Elliot as a youngster, eventually becoming the second-longest running performer in the lead role.

He went on to star in the BBC series Beautiful People before landing the part of Stephen in Jack Whitehall’s school-set comedy Bad Education, and returned to the stage for parts in musicals like Rent and Hairspray.

In 2019, he landed the title role in the West End production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and later took the show to Los Angeles for its American debut in 2022.

Asked about his existing dance skills, Layton told The One Show: “I hope they’ll transfer in some ways but also I’m aware that potentially they may come in the way.

“I’m quite a perfectionist when it comes to dancing and I’m not trained in ballroom and Latin, so I hope that I’ll feel confident but I am pretty nervous.”

More celebrity competitors will be announced over the coming days, and the stars’ dance partners will be revealed in a Strictly launch episode airing on BBC One this autumn.


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