Strictly star Layton Williams supported by fans following candid plea: 'I’m trying to handle this with a smile'

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin
Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin (Guy Levy)

While Strictly Come Dancing’s audience is usually uplifting and supportive, one of this year’s stars Layton Williams has revealed that he has received negative messages on social media. The star, who scored a very impressive 36 score on Saturday, reminded his followers to be kind, adding: "I'm just here to have fun like all the other contestants".

Sharing a photo of himself snuggled in a blanket after his busy weekend, 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. I'm trying to handle this with a smile and determination to slay another day but reminder #BeKind #Strictly."

He was of course inundated with support, with one person writing: "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," to which Layton replied: "I love this. Thanks so much x."

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Another person added: "You are loved by so many who support you and stand with you always don’t let the trolls get to you they got nothing better to do keep smiling keep slaying you're doing a fantastic job on the dance floor." Eurovision star Mae Muller also replied, writing: "We love you Layton."

Nikita Kuzmin and Layton Williams dancing a quickstep
Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin scored 36 (Guy Levy)

Layton and his partner Nikita Kuzmin were widely praised for their "incredible" Quickstep, with Craig Revel Horwood saying: "There was certainly nothing basic about that, darling. You are ridiculous. That was incredible." Motsi Mabuse added: "The dance of the night, end of story."

Nikita Kuzmin is paired with Layton Williams
Nikita Kuzmin is paired with Layton Williams (Guy Levy)

Shirley Ballas said: "You had such difficult choreography, you kept up with it, it’s not easy, you are not trained in ballroom, but I can see that you are determined to show the country that you will get these fundamentals no matter what. I applaud you, congratulations." Anton Du Beke was similarly full of praise, telling the pair: "It was ridiculous and remarkable and extraordinary. Well done. Brilliant dance."

Strictly stars and their children

Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez sit on the sofa with the children
Gorka Marquez, Gemma Atkinson and their children
  • Strictly pro Gorka Marquez and former Strictly contestant Gemma Atkinson share two children, Mia, four, and baby Thiago.

  • Strictly: It Takes Two host Janette Manrara and her dancer husband Aljaz Skorjanec are parents to baby girl Lyra.

  • Strictly winners Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley welcomed baby Minnie in January 2023.

  • Former Strictly pros James and Ola Jordan share a daughter, three-year-old Ella.

  • Former pro Pasha Kovalev and Rachel Riley share two daughters, Maven, three, and Noa, one.

  • Strictly judge and ex-pro Anton du Beke and his wife Hannah share adorable six-year-old twins George and Henrietta.

  • Former Strictly star Artem Chigvintsev and Nikki Bella became parents to son Matteo in July 2000.

  • Professional dancer Natalie Lowe and her husband James Knibbs welcomed their son Jack in December 2020.

  • Ben Cohen and former Strictly dancer Kristina Rihanoff met in series 11 and now share a six-year-old daughter, Milena.

  • Ex-Strictly pro Brendan Cole and his wife Zoe Hobbs are parents to Aurelia, age 10, and Dante, five.

Nikita Kuzmin and Layton Williams are paired together
Layton has asked for fans to be kind (Ray Burniston)

Layton has previously opened up about his dance experience, telling BBC: "I 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. I did work for Matthew Bourne’s company a good few years ago. 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."