Strictly’s Layton Williams’ dance experience ‘not fair’ says Michelle Collins

Strictly’s Layton Williams addresses ‘unfair’ trained dancer backlash

Michelle Collins has hit out at Strictly Come Dancing hopeful Layton Williams over his history of dance experience.

The 61-year-old EastEnders actress said while she loved the theatre star, it was “not fair” to have him on the show, following his praise on Saturday night.

Layton, 29, has been performing in the West End for over 16 years, starring in shows such as Billy Elliot the Musical, Hairspray, Rent, and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and he has also trained in jazz, tap, and ballet.

Last weekend, he topped the leaderboard with professional partner Nikita Kuzmin after an impressive Quickstep.

Many were quick to praise his confidence and moves, but some have claimed he is at an advantage over contestants who are new to the dance floor.

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Giving her say after his latest performance, soap star Michelle wrote: “Sorry but he is a professional dancer it’s not fair! I love him but he’s great already.”

Some Instagram users disagreed with her comments, as one wrote: “It would be boring with all les Dennis’… Yeah he’s from a dancing background however has had to learn a new way of dancing.”

A second added: “Did you comment on the other ones with dance experience Michelle? Nah, didn’t think so.”

A third typed: “That’s what’s irritating me. I think some people are just looking for reasons to have a go at Layton.”

Others pointed out how he wasn’t the only contestant to be from a dance background, with the likes of Amanda Abbington, Nigel Harman and Angela Rippon also having a history.

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Layton previously addressed the controversy around his dance experience ahead of this year’s launch.

Speaking to press, he said: “Of course, there’s going to be moments that will feel more comfortable being in the rehearsal room and use and dancing and stuff like that.

“However, I can’t stress enough how different [it is]. It’s like a plumber trying to be an electrician. I don’t even know what them two things are, but it’s just not the same.”

After receiving negative comments following his latest performance, the Strictly hopeful urged people to “be kind”.

Taking to Twitter, 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.”

This morning, Layton he reshared his tweet telling fans he was “grateful” for those who had sent “positive vibes” for him.

Strictly Come Dancing returns Saturday at 6.20pm on BBC One.

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