Strictly: Layton Williams announces he’s joined the cast of 2023
Layton Williams is best known for his role in Jack Whitehall’s TV show, Bad Education, but he has also appeared in a number of different stage productions over the years.
He was one of the first actors to be cast in the West End production of Billy Elliot in 2008, which has gone on to become a smash hit stage show across the world.
As a child, Layton was given many job opportunities as he attended private theatre schools including Sylvia Young and Italia Conti, however, it did not come without sacrifice.
The West End performer admits his family could not afford the steep fees needed to attend, so he worked hard to help fund himself through education with the help of scholarships.
Speaking to The Guardian, Layton shared: “I earned the most money in my family at 12 years old.
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“We couldn’t afford private school – I needed a scholarship – and Italia Conti were amazing.”
During his Billy Elliot run Layton was cast in Beautiful People, the 2009 sitcom based on Simon Doonan’s memoirs that starred Olivia Colman.
After finishing filming its first season, Layton’s early career stalled and he found himself completing secondary school in Bury.
While in the West End, Layton had a private tutor and was in a theatreland bubble where he was free to express himself.
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Back in Bury, he had to deal with bullying and the fear that his two-year stint in Billy Elliot was the sum total of his acting career.
A second season of Beautiful People and a scholarship to the Italia Conti Academy gave Layton a route back to London, and he has stayed ever since.
He landed a role in Jack Whitehall’s comedy Bad Education in 2012 and appeared as the lead in Everyone Is Talking About Jamie in 2019.
Now, Layton is gearing up to make his reality show debut on the upcoming season of Strictly Come Dancing.
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The star, 29, became one of the first contestants confirmed for this series, and will be joining the likes of Amanda Abbington, Angela Rippon, Les Dennis, and Adam Thomas.
During the announcement on The One Show, Layton said: “Honestly, truly, I’m happy so long as it’s a guy. I’ve said I want to dance with a man. I want to be flung around.
“Basically, at college I was always very jealous of the girls being thrown around and was like, ‘I want to be that!’
“So I can’t wait to get flung around and wear some glittery costumes.”
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