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Strictly star Layton Williams responds to ‘trolls’ after superb performance in week two

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Layton Williams has responded to being trolled on social media.

Williams, 28, is among the star-studded line-up for this year’s season of Strictly. The BBC’s flagship dance competition is well underway, with its second live show having aired on Saturday (30 September).

The film and theatre actor is best known for playing the title roles in Billy Elliot and Everyone’s Talking About Jamie. His screen credits include Bad Education and I Hate Suzie.

Williams has responded to “low-key trolling” he has received since appearing on Strictly.

Writing on X/Twitter on Sunday (1 October), he wrote: “The messages of love are overwhelming but as is the low key trolling. I’m just here to have fun like all the other contestants.

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“I’m trying to handle this with a smile and determination to slay another day but reminder #BeKind.”

The caption was accompanied by a photograph of Williams lounging in a blue dressing gown, smiling as he made a peace sign with his fingers.

Williams has been met with criticism from some viewers over his past experience dancing.

The theatre star – who previously appeared as a young Michael Jackson in the West End production of Thriller – has said he is trained in jazz, tap, and ballet “to a certain degree”.

“I’m absolutely not a ballet dancer, but I’ve done shows that I’ve had to play characters that are,” he said.

“So dance is in me, it’s a core feeling and I love it and it’s my passion. But this world of Latin and Ballroom is completely new to me, so that’s what I’m excited to explore.”

You can find out more about this year’s Strictly stars with dance experience here.

Eurovision star Mae Muller commented: “We love you Layton

Other fans also voiced their support for the star, with one person stating: “My husband and I had the TV on, we weren’t really watching then you came on Strictly. OMG we were speechless. The best and most gripping energy we have ever seen. I’m going to watch you now. Thank you! You’ve converted us.”

 (BBC/Guy Levy)
(BBC/Guy Levy)

Williams responded to the comment, writing: “I love this. Thanks so much x.”

During Saturday night’s show, Williams and his professional dance partner Nikita Kuzmin stunned the crowd and the judges with their “ridiculously” remarkable quickstep.

The duo – who are the first same-sex pairing in Strictly history – stepped out in matching shirt-and-tie ensembles.

Layton Williams and partner Nikita Kuzmin topped the leaderboard (BBC/Guy Levy)
Layton Williams and partner Nikita Kuzmin topped the leaderboard (BBC/Guy Levy)

Their dance to “Puttin’ on the Ritz” earned standing ovations from judges Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse, and scored the highest score of the evening with four nines.

Fellow judges Craig Revel-Horwood and Anton Du Beke agreed that it was “the dance of the night”.

Their performance shot Williams and Kuzmin up to the top spot in the leaderboard with Amanda Abbington and Gionvanni Pernice following closely behind.

You can find the updated leaderboard here, and the biggest talking points from Strictly week two here.

Elsewhere during the episode, Les Dennis, 69, failed to impress the judges with his samba, which he performed alongside professional partner Nancy Xu.

Dennis and Xu were eliminated from the competition (BBC/Guy Levy)
Dennis and Xu were eliminated from the competition (BBC/Guy Levy)

The pair scored a series low (so far) of two points from Horwood, and a total of 15. Dennis was the first to be eliminated from the series in the results show on Sunday (1 October).

Episodes will continue to air every Saturday on BBC One, with the results show following suit on Sunday evenings.

You can find the full line-up and the pairings for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing here.