Strictly Come Dancing contestant Layton Williams has been defended by politician Ann Widdecombe, after making it through to the grand final this weekend.
The West End star has faced criticism over the course of the celebrity dancing competition for his previous dance training and experience in musical theatre.
Viewers have claimed that fellow contestant Annabel Croft was “robbed” of a place in the final, after losing out to Bobby Brazier in the dreaded dance off.
Despite being the only semi-finalist to bag a perfect score of 40 for his Charleston with pro partner Nikita Kuzmin, the star has continued to be trolled on social media for his success.
Strictly Come Dancing star Layton Williams has hit back at critics on social media
Williams took to his online platforms to speak out on the comments. Replying to a viewer who was defending him, Williams stated: “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 x”
Discussing Layton’s Strictly success, former contestant Ann Widdecombe told GB News that this argument occurs on the show “every year”.
Widdecombe said: “It isn’t fair. Look, this is a dance program. If they started off with 15 people like me, it wouldn’t be a dance program.”
Widdecombe continued: “You’ve got to have that whole range. You’ve got to have complete elephants like me, you’ve got to have people with control who might actually learn to dance, and you’ve got to have people who can already give a performance.
“There is nothing wrong with that at all. People should stop taking this so seriously.”
Host Bev Turner agreed, responding: “I love it Ann, it’s free market all the way. Even in a situation like this, if you’ve got the skills, take it to the table, why not?
“But what’s quite nice and about this program is watching the journey that people go on. Has he gone on any sort of journey on this series?”
Ann Widdecombe defended Layton Williams and said it ‘isn’t fair’ on him
Widdecombe admitted: “I haven’t watched enough of it to know if he’s any better now than he was on week one!”
Reflecting on Widdecombe’s own Strictly experience in 2010, host Andrew Pierce quipped: “By your own admission you said you didn’t actually dance in the show, and yet you still got into the top, I think you came eighth or ninth?”
Widdecombe fumed: “You cheeky so and so! I came well above that. I lasted 10 out of the 12 weeks Andrew Pierce!”
Andrew then joked: “It was a minor miracle to most of us that you’ve lasted so long, Ann”, to which she replied: “It was a major miracle for me.
“I mean, I just could not believe that week after week when, you know, I couldn’t do the steps, I can’t hear music, so I couldn’t keep the time.
“I forgot this, that and the other thing. On one memorable occasion, Anton even forgot something and I just couldn’t believe that week after week we came back. But of course this isn’t just a dance show. It’s family entertainment and I was entertainment value.”