HAVING wowed the judges with their performance of an Argentine Tango on last week’s Strictly Come dancing, Bury’s own Layton Williams and partner Nikita Kuzmin are heading to Blackpool’s iconic Tower Ballroom for this week’s show.

And their message is clear - “Bring it on!”

Messenger Newspapers: Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire)

The pair, who were just one point off a maximum 40 score, will be performing a couple’s choice dance in Blackpool which means the rules are out of the window.

“It’s time for everyone to buckle up,” laughed Layton. “We get the chance to play. Hopefully we’re going to put on a show in Blackpool.”

The visit to the seaside is always one of the highlights of the series.

Layton said: “For us northerners Blackpool is one of those places we used to go on a weekend or to the Illuminations when you always want to be to be the first person to spot the Tower in the car.

Messenger Newspapers: Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire)

“We’ve all had such lovely moments there as children. Now we’re ready to go back and bring it.”

Even for a professional dancer like Nikita, the Blackpool show is very special.

“There’s a special feeling that Blackpool gives you,” he said. “For us every time you dance there, there’s something magical about it, something almost golden about being on that dancefloor.”

Layton and Nikita are the latest same sex partnership on Strictly and the pair are clearly revelling in working together.

Ahead of the Blackpool date, they travelled up to Bury with a camera crew to film some pieces to be shown on Saturday’s show.

“I’m so excited to be coming home for a couple of days,” said Layton. “I’m going to introduce Nikita to my family. I’m going to take him to Bury Market and go on the Rock - just show him what Bury’s all about. And then we’re off to Blackpool.”

Messenger Newspapers: Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire)

Layton has come in for unjust criticism in some quarters as his stage career has seen him appear in a number of musicals including There’s Something About Jamie and Billy Elliott.

“It does feel sometimes that no matter how hard I work there’s always people wanting to discredit it and say I’m a professional dancer,” he said. “But I’ve not done ballroom or Latin before. I only have the same amount of time to learn a routine as everyone else.

“That’s why I’m do delighted that so many people understand that and have voted for us.

“I genuinely thought I’d be fighting for my life virtually from the beginning and yet, so far, we’ve never been in the dance-off. The fact that so many people are voting for us is wild, but we need them to keep on doing that.

“I know people in Bury are behind me and that means so much. It’s amazing to feel that amount of love.

“All we are trying to do every week is our best and hopefully people will appreciate that and vote to keep us in the competition.”

Nikita added: “No matter how well you have done, you always need those votes. From Blackpool onwards you can so easily find yourself in the bottom two. You can top the leaderboard one week and then find yourself in the dance off the next.”

The pair have clearly developed a great friendship over their weeks on Strictly.

“I think that’s one of the coolest things to come out of all of this,” said Nikita. “You have two people you probably would not have matched up if you saw them out on the street, getting on so well. We have the same energy, the same goofiness and perhaps most importantly we really complement each other creatively.”

Nikita was full of praise for his partner.

Messenger Newspapers: Flipping marvellous - Layton’s incredible backflip was a highlight of the series so far (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC)

“It’s simple,” he said. “Layton is a star. “This is an incredible year for me on the show as having him as a partner allows me to create whatever my imagination wants to do really. Layton just absorbs it all and performs it brilliantly on a Saturday night.”

Layton added: “We know the relationship we have and it’s nice to see it on screen. When you’re enjoying someone’s company and working with them to create something special and that all comes together that’s special.

“I feel like we surprise ourselves every week in the best way. All of those hours we put in every day goes into one minute and 40 seconds on a Saturday.That’s why we are so emotional at the end. It has taken a whole week of really hard work to get to that point.”

Both Nikita and Layton were visibly moved after their stunning Argentine Tango on last week’s show.

“I was told the dance was about emotion and I just thought if I can’t show that as an actor why am I going the day job?” said Layton. “But I don’t think either of us quite expected to be so moved by the experience. The response to that dance has been ridiculous. My phone has never stopped.”

The bookies have made the pair favourites to get a maximum 40 this week with their couple’s choice. They just need to persuade judge Craig Revel Horwood to get his 10 paddle out for the first time on the series.

“A 40, who knows?” said Layton. “The score are important but it’s about us being proud of the work we put in that is important to us. Then again, if we got a 40, we’d be buzzing.”

Strictly Come Dancing from Blackpool, BBC1, Saturday, 6.40pm