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Claudia Winkleman issues warning to Craig Revel Horwood ahead of ‘perfect’ Strictly score

Strictly host Claudia Winkleman issued judge Craig Revel Horwood with a stern warning ahead of the first perfect score of the 2023 series.

On Saturday (2 December), Horwood finally lifted his “10” paddle to award Layton Williams the best possible score for his and partner Nikita Kuzmin’s pasodoble to “Backstage Romance” from Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

Hours after Nigel Harman dramatically quit the show, the pair bounced back from being in the bottom two last week to stun the audience with their dance. After, in his comments, Horwood uttered his catchphrase “fabulous” in response to the dance.

Until this stage, Horwood has been hesitant to give out scores of 10 – so much so that, ahead of the judges’s scores being announced, the show’s co-host Claudia Winkleman felt the need to step in to deliver a message to Horwood.

“Good Luck,” she told Williams and Kuzmin, adding: “And I think from all of us, we’re saying ‘Craig, sort it out.’”

Following this, Horwood gave Williams a 10, with his three fellow judges following suit, leading to a rapturous response from the studio audience as well as Williams and Kuzmin.

Co-host Tess Daly then told Horwood: ‘On behalf of a nation, Craig, thank you for finally getting your ‘10’ back out. We love you for that.”

Musical theatre star Williams, who appeared in Everyone’s Talking About Jamie, has repeatedly received complaints from viewers about his professional level of dance experience.

However, he recently responded to the complaints about his prior dancing experience in an interview for The Guardian, saying that rehearsals are not as easy for him as it might seem.

“I’ve taken it on the chin; I get what everyone’s saying,” he said of the criticism. “But if you could be a fly on the wall in this rehearsal room, it’s not easy for me.”

‘Strictly’ host Claudia Winkleman felt the need to step in ahead of Craig Revel Horwood’s score for Layton Williams (BBC)
‘Strictly’ host Claudia Winkleman felt the need to step in ahead of Craig Revel Horwood’s score for Layton Williams (BBC)

Elsewhere in the latest episode of Strictly, Nigel Harman explained why he had to quit the show hours before it was due to be broadcast.

It was announced by the BBC that the Casualty actor, 50, had been forced to withdraw from the dancing competition due to an injury sustained in rehearsals.

At the beginning of the show, Daly and Winkleman addressed Harman’s departure – and revealed what his exit means for this week’s results.

Find the status of this week’s leaderboard here.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC one at 7.20pm on Sunday (3 December).