Layton Williams

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Layton Williams
Layton Williams.jpg
Layton Williams in 2010
Born (1994-09-13) September 13, 1994 (age 22)
Bury, United Kingdom
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 2007–present

Layton Williams (born 13 September 1994) is an English stage actor, best known as one of the boys who played the title role in Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London's West End, and as the character Kylie in the BBC TV series Beautiful People 2008 and 2009. From late 2016, he began playing Angel in the 20th anniversary tour of Rent around the UK. The production, particularly himself, received rave reviews.[1]

Early life and training[edit]

After several months of training at the Billy Elliot Academy in Leeds, Williams debuted in Billy Elliot the Musical on 26 February 2007.[2] His training was documented on The Paul O'Grady Show in which he appeared in on 25 May 2007 and then in several morning TV shows, TV interviews, and short clips related to the musical. He is the second non-Caucasian boy, the other being Matthew Koon, and the first mixed race youth to star in the show. He gave his finale performance in the musical on 29 November 2008; Williams is still the second-longest running performer as 'Billy' in the show's history.[3] On 31 January 2009, 2 months after his final performance, Layton appeared on the programme Feelgood Factor on ITV, where he and two other 'Billy' actors, Tanner Pflueger and Tom Holland, performed a specially choreographed version of Angry Dance from Billy Elliot the Musical.

Williams has studied street dance and drama at Carol Godby's Theatre workshop in Bury, Greater Manchester. He also studied ballet at Centre Pointe, Manchester. Williams was awarded a scholarship to Sylvia Young Theatre School in Marylebone, London and stayed there until 2008. He attended Broad Oak High School in Bury, his home town, but now attends the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. During his time at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts Williams was featured in a children's documentary 'School for Stars' which was broadcast on the children's television channel CBBC.


He was offered the part as young Michael Jackson in the West End Musical Thriller Live where he did a few performances before he outgrew the role. Williams became well known to a TV audience as the character Kylie – acting, dancing, and singing – in the 2008 and 2009 BBC Two comedy Beautiful People, series 1 and 2.[4][5][6] Since 2012 he has played Stephen Carmichael in the BBC Comedy Bad Education.

Interview with Williams, who at the time of the interview was on tour with Matthew Bourne’s show The Car Man. Following that he performed the part of Duane in Hairspray the Musical 2015 - 2016 tour. He has just announced that will will also be in the new 20th anniversary cast of Rent which begins touring in October 2016. Layton is a strong supporter of the charities Stonewall and Ditch the Label.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Williams is openly gay.[8][9][10] He attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London.[9] His grandparents are from Jamaica, but his father was born in the UK.[9]


  • 2007–2008: Billy Elliot the Musical
  • 2008–2009: Beautiful People comedy series
  • 2011: School for Stars CBBC reality TV Series
  • 2011: Postcode CBBC drama
  • 2012-2014: Bad Education BBC Three[11] comedy
  • 2013: School for Stars (CBBC TV reality series) Series 3 episode 5
  • 2015: The Car Man, theatre production, dancer
  • 2015 : Bad Education the movie
  • 2016: Hairspray the Musical UK Tour playing Duane
  • 2016-2017: Rent U.K. Tour playing Angel


  1. ^ "Cast". Robert Mackintosh and Idili Theatricals Ltd for RENT 20th Anniversary Production Ltd. 2017. Archived from the original on 10 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Photo Flash: Layton Williams Debuts as Billy Elliot". 2007-02-26. 
  3. ^ "Billy Elliot Description – Roles in Billy Elliot (contracts of the cast)". Londonmusicals Online. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  4. ^ "Press Office – Beautiful People Press Pack". BBC. 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  5. ^ Teeman, Tim (2008-10-03). "Beautiful People; Ian Hislop Goes Off the Rails; Natural Born Sellers". The Times. London: Times Newspapers. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  6. ^ Eyre, Hermione (2008-10-08). "Jamie's Ministry of Food, Channel 4; Beautiful People, BBC2; Ian Hislop Goes Off The Rails, BBC4". The Independent. Independent News and Media. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  7. ^ "Interview with Layton Williams". London Thetare 1. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Education for All Conference 2013: Youth Programme". Stonewall. 5 July 2013. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c Bond, Nick (12 July 2015). "Bad Education star Layton Williams on coming out and playing gay". Attitude. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  10. ^ Layton Williams gives a keynote address at Stonewall's 2013 Education for All conference. Stonewall. 25 July 2013 – via YouTube. 
  11. ^ BBC Three – Bad Education – Profiles. (1970-01-01). Retrieved on 2012-12-08.

External links[edit]