Layton Williams shares nan’s reaction to Strictly pairing: ‘She didn’t know I was dancing with a man’

Layton Williams shared his nan's sweet reaction to his same-sex Strictly pairing

Layton Williams has shared his nan’s beautiful reaction after she learned that he was competing in a same-sex couple on Strictly Come Dancing.

The West End star has just secured a spot in the Strictly final with his dance partner Nikita Kuzmin, after earning yet another perfect score from the judges for a second week in a row.

Williams and Kuzmin, who are this season’s only same-sex couple, blew the judges away in this weekend’s semi-final with a Rumba set to Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up”, and a Charleston to Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor’s “Fit As A Fiddle”. 

The pair even earned a standing ovation from Revel Horwood who, as co-host Tess Daly noted, has been rather critical of Charleston routines this season. Horwood said that the performance was “the best Charleston [he’s] ever seen in 20 years.”

After knocking the judges’ socks off, Williams made a very important international phone call to his grandmother who had been watching the semi-final from Jamaica.

Sharing the touching details of the call on social media, the actor told his followers: “Just rang my Nan in Jamaica and she managed to watch some of Strictly at a friend’s house on the computer. 

You may like to watch

“She didn’t know I was dancing with a man but said she loved it and doesn’t care so long as I’m happy.”

I’m not crying, you’re crying!

Williams and Kuzmin have been an unstoppable pairing this season, breaking record after record each time they take to the dance floor.

But it hasn’t all been easy for the Bad Education star, who has been getting a lot of hate online throughout the entire season.

Trolls have lashed out at Williams week-on-week because of the actor’s West End dance background, complaining that he has an “unfair” advantage.

Of course, Williams isn’t the first Strictly contestant to sign up with a bit of dancing experience under his belt (JLS’s Aston Merrygold, The Pussycat Dolls’ Ashley Roberts didn’t compete that long ago!) but he appears to be bearing the brunt of an unprecedented level of hate because of it.

Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin.
Layton Williams’ nan had the sweetest response when she learned he was in a same-sex pairing on Strictly. (BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Williams has done his best to rise above the backlash and prove himself on the dance floor each week but did give his haters a special shoutout after slaying the semi-finals this weekend.

Replying to a Strictly viewer who had told fans to stop bullying him, Williams tweeted: “Thanks, Robin. Luckily I have thick skin but it’s so draining that so-called “Strictly fans” go out of their way to drag me down to lift others up.

“Their fave couples would be SO embarrassed by their comments & so should they. They’ll never dim my shine. Big love.”

On Sunday night (10 December), it was confirmed that Williams and Kuzmin would officially be heading to the Strictly Come Dancing final, going head-to-head with Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola, and Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell.

But only one can take home the coveted Glitterball trophy!

Strictly Come Dancing: The Final will air on Saturday, 16 December, at 7 pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Please login or register to comment on this story.