Layton Williams has been in showbusiness for over 15 years, having first stepped onto the West End stage at the age of 12 as the titular character in Billy Elliot the Musical and since then, has gone on to do incredible things.


Over the course of his career, Williams has been a star on stage and screen, from playing Angel in the 20th anniversary tour of Rent, to Stephen Carmichael in BBC's Bad Education and Jamie New in Everybody's Talking About Jamie.

And now, he is back on the West End in the role of Emcee in Cabaret – a character that has been portrayed by the likes of Eddie Redmayne, Alan Cumming and Neil Patrick Harris, but Williams is putting his own spin on things and is loving every bit of it.

Speaking exclusively to, Williams said of his new role: "I feel like it's ever-growing in this moment and every time I do it I'm like, 'Oh this feels good and this feels good'. I'm coming at it from loads of different angles and [putting] my movement and my dance experience into the role as much as possible, which I've really enjoyed exploring."

The role of Master of Ceremonies, the Emcee is always portrayed in a different way through each actor, whether it be by their performance or how they present the character through costume and make-up – no Emcee is ever the same, and Williams has enjoyed mixing things up.

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He added: "[And] just really going there with the make-up looks as well... It's me! It feels like me in the role which I kind of love."

While some people may not have followed Williams's West End career, plenty will have seen him don his dancing shoes and sparkly outfits on Strictly Come Dancing.

The performer made it all the way to the final of the competition last year and while he missed out on taking home the Glitterball, he was a worthy contender throughout the series and proved he was there to stay, despite naysayers.

During his time on Strictly, Williams received the first 40 of the season and was even awarded a 40 for the "best Charleston" Craig Revel Horwood had ever seen. Fans will also be able to see him reunite with pro dancer Nikita Kuzmin for a special show at Theatre Royal Drury Lane London on 16th July.

In our chat, Williams revealed he actually auditioned for Cabaret whilst taking part on Strictly and for him, it felt like "a walk in the park" in comparison to the Saturday live shows.

"After doing that amazing experience, I kind of felt like I could conquer anything," he told

"When I walked into the audition I was like, 'Cool! Let's go.' Of course I was a little bit nervous but compared to what I was doing on a Saturday night, it really was a walk in the park."

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin performing on Strictly Come Dancing
Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin performing on Strictly Come Dancing. BBC/Guy Levy

Each night, Williams steps into the role of Emcee alongside Heartstopper star Rhea Norwood, who joins him to play Sally Bowles.

In what marks her West End debut, Norwood has also been greeted with rave reviews, and Williams sung her praises.

"Rhea is amazing," he said. "She is such a gorgeous young talent. It's her West End debut and she's carrying herself with such professionalism and she goes out there and pours her heart on the stage.

"You don't get that often with people, that star quality, and she certainly has it so it's such a pleasure and honour."

Within the arts and beyond, Williams is a staunch advocate for the LGBTQIA+ and minority communities, and is often waving a flag for more representation within the arts.

"I've always been a massive advocate of representation of people of all races, colours and creeds," Williams told

"I'm glad to be somebody who will be paving the way."

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One major change in representation viewers have seen on TV as of late is I Kissed a Boy, narrated by Williams himself, as well as I Kissed a Girl, which stormed onto screens earlier this year and was narrated by TikTok star Charley Marlowe.

Williams will once again be narrating I Kissed a Boy, following the renewal of the BBC Three series.

Nasfim Haque, head of content for BBC Three, said of the show's return: "I am thrilled to have this innovative, ground-breaking format return to BBC Three.

"I Kissed a Boy's success is testament to the channel's unwavering dedication to producing content that both entertains and educates."

Speaking of his own return to the narrator's chair, Williams said: "I'm going back into the booth to do I Kissed a Boy season 2. So I will be voicing that again which is super exciting!"

As for what's next for Layton Williams, the performer remained tight-lipped on the matter, so watch this space!

Layton stars as Emcee in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club until 21st September 2024, with tickets available here.

Meanwhile, Layton & Nikita Live! is at Theatre Royal Drury Lane London on 16th July – you can pick up tickets here.


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