Jack Whitehall ‘so proud’ as ‘protege’ signs up for Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing pros look like royalty ahead of new series

Jack Whitehall has taken to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express his pride to his six million followers that one of his former co-stars will be tripping the light fantastic when Strictly Come Dancing returns next month.

West End star Layton Williams was one of the first three contestants to be announced on The One Show today alongside actress Amanda Abbington and the show’s oldest-ever contestant Angela Rippon.

Layton previously co-starred with Jack in BBC’s Bad Education as pupil-turned-teacher Stephen Carmichael. Jack also wrote the hit show which returned for a 10th anniversary special last December.

“Great to see my protege is going to be on Strictly,” Jack penned. “I taught him every dance move he knows. When I first met him he had two left feet and no confidence at all. But after a little wax on wax off and me reminding him that no one puts Layton in the corner, he really began to flourish. And now this. So proud.”

Despite Jack’s obvious support, Layton has admitted to being nervous about appearing on the ratings-topping Saturday night show.

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“I am pretty nervous,” he admitted during the reveal. When asked who he wants to dance with he said: “I am happy as long as it’s a guy. I am honestly ready to go on a rollercoaster journey and I am ready to learn some new skills,” he added.

It had been speculated for several weeks that he would be taking part and it had already been reported that he would prefer to dance with a male partner.

However, as rumours circulated that he would be taking part it was claimed that the show could find itself in the middle of a fix row due to his West End experience.

Layton attended the Italia Conti stage school and his breakthrough stage role was as dancing prodigy Billy Elliot in 2007. He also played a young Michael Jackson in Thriller Live so his dance ability is not indisputable.

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He has said: “One minute I’m doing a TikTok, the next minute I’m writing, or I’m acting, singing, doing a dance workshop, or running my dance company.

“I love dancing, it’s at my core, it’s my first love really. I’ve been teaching since I was around 16 years old.”

This year marks the 21st series of Strictly and the glitzy launch show will be filmed in September with the celebrities learning who will be their professional partner.

All of the professional dancers will be returning to the 2023 series, as are judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Anton du Beke and Motsi Mabuse.

However, Rylan Clark has stepped down as host of Strictly: It Takes Two and has been replaced by Fleur East.

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