Strictly Come Dancing's Layton Williams has scored the first 40 of the series with an outstanding Paso Doble to Backstage Romance from Moulin Rouge! The Musical.


The actor and his professional partner Nikita Kuzmin faced their first dance-off last week with their American Smooth, but the duo bounced back in style on tonight's show.

It was clear where things were going as soon as Craig Revel Horwood gave his feedback, with the Strictly Come Dancing judge saying: "That took me back to 1988 when I danced at the Moulin Rouge. That was fab-u-lous."

Motsi Mabuse went on to hail the routine as "stunning", adding: "Listen, I just have to say one thing, this is how you come back from a dance-off. I have to commend both of you because all of this negativity you have been receiving, and to shine week on week on week on week, and coming back, never losing yourself, always trying to push the boundaries, something very different, very special. Just remember you left your footprint here, you were here and you were stunning."

Meanwhile, Shirley Ballas praised Layton and Nikita for their "absolutely first-class team work", saying: "You were absolutely sensational".

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Anton Du Beke echoed that: "What is there to add? That split line, that was, it was just, that's the best thing you’ve done on the series so far."

Before the scores were announced, Layton told host Claudia Winkleman that performing the routine was "so magical".

Asked what it was like coming back from his first dance-off last week, he said: "I had to experience that just to come back absolutely fighting."

There will be no elimination or public vote on tonight's show after Nigel Harman was forced to withdraw from the competition after sustaining an injury.

The former EastEnders and Casualty star had been due to dance a Charleston to Step in Time from Mary Poppins with his professional partner Katya Jones.

But on Saturday afternoon, a BBC spokesperson confirmed his exit: "Unfortunately Nigel has sustained an injury which means he is unable to perform in tonight’s show and has had to withdraw from Strictly."

Co-hosts Claudia and Tess Daly clarified at the beginning of tonight's live show that the judges would still be scoring the performances and that their votes would be carried over to next week.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The results show will air on Sunday 3rd December.

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