Strictly Layton Williams life – expelled, tough time and heartbreaking split

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    He's the actor turned professional dancer, who has been tearing up the Strictly Come Dancing scoreboard week after week.

    Layton Williams has been incredibly successful during his run on the BBC dancing show since the newest series kicked off last month. Together with partner Nikita Kuzmin, Layton has been dominating the show, managing to score a near-perfect 39 points for their saucy salsa on Saturday (October 24).

    Fans of the show have accused the star of having an "unfair" advantage over other contestants due to his previous experience of working in musical theatre. Williams has since slammed the claims, saying: "If you saw what went on in the rehearsal room, it's hard for me too!"

    READ MORE: BBC's Strictly stars embroiled in 'favouritism row' as 'eyebrows raised' backstage

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    But behind the scenes of the show, Layton has had to deal with a number of setbacks throughout both his life and career. So, as Layton and Nikita gear up for another week of rehearsals for the programme, Daily Star looks at the struggles Layton has gone through.

    Getting expelled from school

    Williams was initially educated in the traditional manner, but when his talents for acting, singing and dancing were discovered, he was soon taken out of his school. Instead of a normal curriculum, Layton was thrust into the hubbub of private school as he managed to bag a scholarship for the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

    Moving from his council estate in Bury in Greater Manchester to the capital, it is clear that the change affected Layton. As time went on, Layton's rambunctious personality came back to bite him when he was expelled from his first theatre school.

    Speaking to LGBTQ+ magazine Attitude, he explained that despite performing from such a young age, he soon became "a bit of a clown". He added that the shift from growing up on an estate to following strict rules tough to adjust to.

    "I'm not going to sugar-coat it: I actually got expelled from my first theatre school, which was Sylvia Young. I can talk about it now because I've had closure," he explained. "It just wasn't working."

    As well as this, due to his schedule at the time of performing, Williams was only attending school part-time and the disruption was "causing too much havoc". He later reflected that the decision to take him out of the school was completely justified.

    'Tough' readjustments

    Soon after his suspension from the private theatre school, Layton was forced to return to his previous life in Bury. He described the move as the "toughest point of my life".

    During his time in London, Layton came to terms with his queer identity and sexuality, fully embracing the fact that he was gay. But he admitted that having to move back to Manchester felt like going "back into the closet", as he felt he had become a different person.

    Luckily for Layton, he was able to make his way back to the capital after a TV producer and her partner gave him a place to stay. Now having a place to base himself in London, Williams threw himself into the profession and could appear in films and TV shows, including Beautiful People.

    The theatre star also was able to finish off his education after securing a three-year scholarship at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. He later paid tribute to his London family, joking they became a "beautiful, dysfunctional family and queer household".

    After finishing off his education, Layton was keen to keep himself on the straight and narrow, keeping his head down and starring in a number of shows, including BBC's Bad Education. He also starred in various West End productions.

    Love and heartbreak

    But in his personal life, Layton had loved and lost many times during his time in London. The star was seen previously going out with fellow thespian Michael Craig Dawson.

    Whilst together, the pair were instantly loved up and had an intense connection. The duo went as far as looking for houses to buy, as Layton was ready to move out of his London family's home and begin his life on his own.

    But despite the love the two had for each other, they would eventually go on to split, leaving Layton completely devastated. He admitted to Attitude that he "never felt heartbreak like it" before, but added: "It clearly wasn't meant to be.

    "But it's all about love and respect," he insisted. "I've never had messy breakups; it's always mature." Since then, Layton has been reportedly single ever since, with his career taking up so much time – he cannot fit having a relationship in.

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    • Strictly Come Dancing
    • Layton Williams

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