Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin topped the 'Strictly Come Dancing' leaderboard on Saturday (11.11.23) night.

Layton Williams topped the Strictly leaderboard on Saturday

Layton Williams topped the Strictly leaderboard on Saturday

The 29-year-old actor - who is best known for starring in the sitcom 'Bad Education' - is currently taking part in the BBC Latin and ballroom show and after scoring a near-perfect score of 39 for their Argentine Tango to Loreen hit 'Tattoo', he and his professional partner Nikita have sailed through to next week's heat at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

Speaking to host Claudia Winkleman after their performance, Layton said: "It's been a pretty tough week and I just want to say thank you [to Nikita] because I feel like he is the best partner ever. I just felt so special, we're just so in it. It's beautiful. I was literally looking like, 'Please don't step on his toes!'"

Following their performance, West End star Layton - who played the title role in 'Billy Elliot: The Musical' as a child - and Nikita received a standing ovation from judges Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse, who remarked she was left "speechless" after seeing the routine.

She said: "Guys! Speechless! That happens once in a lifetime to me. That was epic, iconic, it will never be done again like that. That was special, and I mean special within the whole world of the 'Strictly Come Dancing' type of competition.

"That was the bomb! End of it!"

Head judge Shirley noted that their routine had gone "beyond perfection" whilst Anton DuBeke claimed he would "pay good money" to see the duo perform and Craig Revel Horwood - the only judge not to hand out a perfect 10 - labelled the dance as "amazing."

Hot on the heels of Layton and Nikita were former 'Coronation Street' actress Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola, who scored a total of 35 for their Rumba to Cyndi Lauper classic 'True Colours' whilst 'Casualty' actor Nigel Harman and Katya Jones completed the top three having scored 34 for their Couple's Choice to Bruno Mars hit 'Just the Way You Are'.

At the other end of the scoreboard were tennis legend Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe - who scored 31 for their Samba to Shakira's 'Whenever Wherever' - while Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Lauren Oakley scored 25 for their Samba to 'Bamboleo' by Gipsy Kings.