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Paralympian Will Bayley gets through week five of Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly judges were left in tears after hearing of contestant Will Bayley's childhood cancer.

The Tunbridge Wells paralympian was this evening voted through to week six after an emotional contemporary dance with professional partner Janette Manrara on the hit show.

Strictly Come Dancing Janette Manrara, Will Bayley. Picture: BBC Photographer Guy Levy (19790879)
Strictly Come Dancing Janette Manrara, Will Bayley. Picture: BBC Photographer Guy Levy (19790879)

In Saturday's show, a video tape of the gold medal-winning table-tennis player told how he overcame non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a rare cancer which affects the immune system, before dedicating the dance to any child watching from hospital.

Will was just seven-years-old when diagnosed and spent much of his time at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, which was featured on the show.

He told the audience: "As a seven-year-old to have cancer was so scary. But the doctors and the nurses were so amazing. I had so much support and love around me."

His moving routine left new judge Motsi Mabuse in tears and unable to comment, prompting Will to mount the judges' podium to console her.

He scored 32 points, gaining his first nine, placing him sixth on the leader board.

Alfonso Ribeiro joined Saturday night's judging panel. Picture: Guy Levy (19794193)
Alfonso Ribeiro joined Saturday night's judging panel. Picture: Guy Levy (19794193)

Stand-in judge Alfonso Ribeiro, who replaced regular Bruno Tonioli, was equally moved, calling the performance “incredibly inspiring,” adding “There are young boys and girls who will watch that performance and know that anything is possible.”

Will's grandmother was credited with buying him his first table after he was diagnosed with arthrogryposis, which causes issues in the joints from birth.

Programme host Tess Daly announced Will and Janette as the first couple to go through during this evening's show, meaning they didn't have to face the dreaded dance-off.

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