Acclaimed musical theatre performer Layton Williams made a big mark on Strictly Come Dancing 2023 in his first week, finishing joint second on the leaderboard with a stellar samba to Touch by Little Mix.


Williams and his partner Nikita Kuzmin racked up an impressive 29 points with their first routine, with Craig calling his box split "amazing" – high praise indeed from the notoriously steely judge.

In his second week, Williams will be doing a Quickstep to Puttin' on the Ritz by Gregory Porter.

Williams previously spoke about his preparation for the dance when chatting exclusively with

He said: "These hips have been moisturised! Can you imagine this one [Nikita] called me stiff? Me, stiff?! So I had to go home and really loosen up my buttons, because there's not going to be a world where I ever get called stiff again."

Williams is best-known for his role in Bad Education and for having performed in West End productions of Billy Elliot and Everybody's Talking About Jamie. He's taken the theatre world by storm and, based on his first dance, it seems he'll be doing the same with Strictly.

Read on for everything you need to know about Layton Williams.

Who is Layton Williams?

Layton Williams for Strictly Come Dancing 2023 wearing a white tank top looking into camera
Layton Williams for Strictly Come Dancing 2023.

Age: 29

Job: Actor, singer and dancer

Instagram: @laytonwilliams

Twitter: @LaytonWilliams

Strictly partner: Nikita Kuzmin

Williams rose to prominence in the theatre scene, with major roles in iconic shows including Billy Elliot, Rent, Hairspray, Kiss Me, Kate and Everybody's Talking About Jamie.

Viewers may also recognise him from BBC sitcom Bad Education, where he has played Stephen Carmichael since 2012, and Sky Atlantic's darkly comic drama I Hate Suzie Too.

Earlier this year, he earned another wave of fans for his voiceover work on BBC Three's LGBTQ+ dating show I Kissed A Boy.

Who is Layton Williams' partner Nikita Kuzmin?

Nikita Kuzmin and Layton Williams for Strictly Come Dancing 2023
Nikita Kuzmin and Layton Williams for Strictly Come Dancing 2023 BBC/Ray Burmiston

Williams' partner Nikita Kuzmin is a Ukrainian dancer and choreographer who first joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2021. He was previously a professional dancer on the German version of Strictly, Let's Dance.

He said as he joined the show: "I've always been amazed by the magic Strictly Come Dancing brings. No matter what country I have found myself living in, I've never missed a chance to watch it.

"Joining it as a professional dancer is my big chance to make some magic on the most famous dance floor. I can't wait to give it my all."

For season 19 he was partnered with Tilly Ramsay, while season 20 saw him partnered with Ellie Simmonds.

Layton Williams' Strictly journey so far


Week One: Samba (7+8+7+7) = 29

What has Layton Williams said about joining Strictly 2023?

Williams said in a statement: "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!"

Williams has a lot in store for this year's Strictly through his costume choices. It was reported the West End performer will be the first Strictly contestant to wear both a dress and suit in the competition, and Williams says he hopes to be as "fabulous" as possible throughout.

Speaking to and other press, the actor said: "Obviously, there are some weeks that will be like a costume for the theme that you're doing, or the storyline, but I dress many different ways when I'm Layton. So, I feel like, why wouldn't I do that when I'm on Strictly?

"I want to represent me, I want to represent my community and go out there and slay!"

When does Strictly Come Dancing 2023 air?

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 airs every Saturday evening, followed by the results show on the Sunday on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday 30th September at 6:20pm. The results show will air on Sunday 1st October on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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