Layton Williams’s Strictly partner addresses actor’s past dance experience

The celebs meet their Pros in this Strictly preview

Strictly Come Dancing star Layton Williams has been forced to defend his previous dance experience ever since he was announced as a contestant on the BBC Saturday night show.

Now his newly announced pro partner Nikita Kuzmin has waded in saying: “Ballroom and Latin are completely different to anything Layton has done so far, the technique, posture and especially co-ordination is completely different, he has a lot to learn and I can’t wait to teach him”.

Layton and Nikita, who will form this series’s same-sex pairing, discovered that they were partnered up on tonight’s launch show.

“He is going to whip me into shape and keep me on the straight and narrow, because I do like to think I know what I am doing and do the most, but I really don’t have a clue!” Layton exclaimed upon learning who he would be working with.

Nikita’s remarks echoed Layton’s own feelings about his previous experience which he compared to “a plumber trying to be an electrician.”

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He said: “Yeah, well, of course, there’s going to be moments that will feel more comfortable being in the rehearsal room and dancing and stuff like that,” he told and other press ahead of the show launch.

“And if anything, sometimes I’m such a professional in the things that I do, when it comes to stuff that […] I should potentially be able to do, and everyone expects me to be able to do this, actually, it’s just some time for learning,” he explained.

“So I don’t really know yet [if it’s an advantage] because I’ve not started, but come a couple of weeks, I might be like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m amazing’. Or I might be like, ‘Actually, you know what? Can we all just cool down? Let’s see.

“I’m excited for the ride,” he added. “And I’m excited to learn new things. So just swim into the deep end.”

Tonight’s launch show included a beautiful tribute to the late Len Goodman, during which Tess Daly, Claudia Winkleman and the judges and professional dancers remembered the Ballroom icon.

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Jessie Ware also performed a rendition of her song Free Yourself which was accompanied by a spectacular dance routine from Nadiya Bychkova, Johannes Radebe, Michelle Tsiakkas and Neil Jones.

Viewers were also treated to one final routine from the 2022 Strictly Come Dancing winners Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystał.

They danced their week four Salsa from last year’s series to remind the audience exactly why they won the competition.

Following the performance Hamza reflected on his experience on the show saying: “Strictly was the best thing that’s ever happened to me, it’s changed my life and taught me so much about myself, and I thought already knew myself pretty well.”

Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One on Saturday nights. The launch show is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.

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