Strictly’s Layton Williams reactions to ‘special’ support from Gene Kelly’s widow

Virgin Radio

13 Dec 2023, 19:15

(L-R) Nikita Kuzmin and Layton Williams on Strictly Come Dancing, Patricia Ward

Credit: BBC / Getty

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 finalist Layton Williams has shared his reaction to learning Gene Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward, loved his dance to one of the late star's most iconic routines.  

Layton and pro-partner Nikita Kuzmin performed a stellar routine to Fit as a Fiddle by Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor from the 1952 classic, Singin’ In The Rain for the recent Strictly Come Dancing semi-finals

Taking to the Gene Kelly Legacy Instagram, Patrica shared a photo of the Bad Education star on stage, clad in his chequered suit and umbrella, with the wholly supportive caption: “A lovely nod to Gene and Donald O'Connor by Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin on BBC Strictly Come Dancing. 

“Gene always said, "Don't imitate me. Take what I did and go beyond." I think these two mastered that.”

That’s quite the compliment from the family of a legendary star, so it’s no surprise that Layton was blown away by the response. 

While chatting at the Strictly Come Dancing finalists press conference, the West End actor told and other press: “My mum sent me that and that's wild...that's amazing because you’re kind of in your little bubble aren't you? You turn up and do your routine. 

“Then you do it, and you get the scores and you get the comments, oh my gosh. It's really special, isn't it? It kind of just goes beyond and it reaches... in the fact that it's just going to be about forever. It's the most amazing thing. I can't wait to sit down one day and show the grand kids. It really is exciting. That was a big tick for us.”

Layton will battle it out with Bobby Brazier and Ellie Leach for the coveted Glitterball Trophy on Saturday (16th December), and the actor admitted that winning the whole series would be “the most unbelievable achievement.”

He continued: “After everything we've managed to achieve and to show everyone, it would be icing on the cake, but I really do feel like getting to the final has been a full, 'I've completed it' situation. No matter what happens, I feel like I want to leave with my head held high, feeling super proud. We've managed to do so much and it's kind of exceeded all my expectations So I'm really proud of that.”

Strictly Come Dancing: The Final will air live on Saturday 16th December at 7.00pm, on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.