Strictly Come Dancing week five highlights – from Amanda Abbington no-show to Ellie Leach surprise

Strictly Come Dancing’s 21st season is well underway, with 12 celebrity-professional pairings still in the running to win the Glitterball trophy.

Hot off the heels of last week’s episode, which saw English cyclist and former swimmer Jody Cundy sent home by the judges, week five of the BBC show saw a smorgasbord of dances ranging from the Argentine Tango to the American Smooth.

Former tennis pro Annabel Croft received a subdued response from judges, despite kicking the episode off in “chic” fashion, with particular praise reserved for celebrities including Adam Thomas, Nigel Harman and Bobby Brazier.

Zara McDermott received the same marks as last week, but received encouraging comments from the judges. whiile Angela Rippon, the oldest contestant to have ever graced the Strictly stage, closed out the show, and received a standing ovation from Motsi Mabuse.

Here’s a roundup of the biggest talking points from week five.

Layton Williams makes history yet again… kind of

It was another night to remember for musical theatre star Layton Williams, as his Salsa to “Quimbara” by Johnny Pacheco and Celia Cruz landed him and partner Nikita Kuzmin at the top of the leaderboard.

The pair got an “ah-ma-zing” from Craig Revel Horwood, with their score seeing them receive a near-perfect score of 39. This is the first time since 2010 that a performance received such a score this early in the competition.

This follows a record in week four, when the Everybody’s Talking About Jamie stage actor became the first ever celebrity to receive a score of 10 in the fourth week of the show.

Ellie Leach surprises with winning performance

Ellie and Vito on ‘Strictly’ (BBC)
Ellie and Vito on ‘Strictly’ (BBC)

Coronation Street and TikTok star Ellie Leach has struggled to crack the top of the leaderboard throughout the series thus far, but her Paso Doble to “Insomnia” by Faithless has seen her become a force to be reckoned with.

Professional dancer Vito Coppola received praise for bringing out the beast of Leach, with Mabuse calling it her favourite performance of the series so far.

Leach and Coppola responded ecstatically after receiving a score of 37, which landed them second in the leaderboard.

Amanda Abbington gets free pass to week six

Sherlock actor Amanda Abbington missed the live show “due to medical reasons”, with hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman wishing her a speedy recovery at the start of the episode.

As is the norm when contestants grow ill or suffer an injury, Abbington and her partner Giovanni Pernice will sail through to the next stage of the competition.

The news was originally announced by Janette Manrara on companion show It Takes Two. Manrara said: “Strictly Come Dancing protocols mean that all being well, Amanda and Giovanni (Pernice) will return the following week.

“Amanda, we hope you get well soon, my love, sending you all the best wishes.”

Surprise Harry Potter cameo stuns viewers

David Bradley on ‘Strictly’ (BBC)
David Bradley on ‘Strictly’ (BBC)

Strictly fans were left surprised by the unexpected appearance in the audience from David Bradley, known by many as the cantankerous caretaker Argus Filch in the Harry Potter franchise.

Bradley was present in support of his friend Nigel Harman, who performed a Foxtrot to “I Just Want To Make Love to You” by Etta James. Addressing his friendship with Bradley, Harman called the actor, with whom he starred on stage alongsdie in 2007, “a wonderful part of my life”.

Find out which celebrity was eliminated from Sunday night’s results show (22 October) here.