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Paralympian Will Bayley from Tunbridge Wells on Strictly Come Dancing

Didn't he do well? Table tennis paralympian Will Bayley from Tunbridge Wells ended up with a respectable 24 points on tonight's Strictly Come Dancing.

Will, 31, danced last, scoring a six from each of the four judges after performing a sizzling table tennis-inspired salsa with professional partner Janette Manrara on the second show of the series.

Paralympian Will Bayley from Tunbridge Wells stepping out on BBC TV's Strictly Come Dancing. Picture: BBC
Paralympian Will Bayley from Tunbridge Wells stepping out on BBC TV's Strictly Come Dancing. Picture: BBC

Before the live programme he said: "I’m so proud to be on the show, it’s my family’s favourite.

"I have no dance experience at all but I hope I can do well.

"I want to inspire people with a disability. That would mean a lot to me. I want to prove to people I can do this.”

Will was born in Tunbridge Wells and went to Beacon Community College in Crowborough, East Sussex.

He is the world's No 1 paralympian table tennis player after he began playing the sport at the Byng Hall Table Tennis Club in Tunbridge Wells.

Strictly Come Dancing logo
Strictly Come Dancing logo

He had previously admitted: "I don't think anyone has been on the show with a disability that'll affect dancing as much as it will me, so it'll be interesting to see how I cope.

"Some of the technical stuff is going to be really tough but the people behind the scenes of the show are confident I can do it."

Tonight his routine ended with a jaw-dropping lift of Janette above his head.

Will has suffered from arthrogryposis since birth, a rare condition which affects all four of his limbs.

He had to have reconstructive surgery before he was three.

Then at seven, he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, and had to undergo a six-month course of chemotherapy at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

But he has not let these health setbacks get in the way of his sporting career.

He was helped to success by Kent County Council who sponsored his training at the English Sports Institute in Sheffield, where he went at the age of 17.

In 2017, he was made an MBE for services to table tennis after winning gold in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

He is currently training to defend his title at the 2020 games in Tokyo.

At least one of tonight's 15 couples will be voted off by viewers. The result will be announced on Sunday night's programme.

Among those also taking part are 60-year-old former TV presenter Anneka Rice, EastEnders' actress Emma Barton who plays Honey Mitchell, BBC sports news presenter Mike Bushell and CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual.

The judges are Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Motsi Mabuse.

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