Actress Ellie Leach impressed the Strictly Come Dancing judges with lifts, twirls and dips to top the leaderboard as the show reached its halfway mark.

Saturday’s show saw the former Coronation Street star, who is from Bury, perform the American smooth with partner Vito Coppola to claim a top score of 39 out of 40.

For her performance to Ain’t That A Kick In The Head by Robbie Williams, she donned a red sparkly dress with a feather collar.

Bury Times:

Judge Craig Revel Horwood said: “You’ve gone from strength to strength – showbiz, glamour and style.”

Motsi Mabuse said it had “final vibes”, while Shirley Ballas described it as a “Rolls-Royce” performance and “finalist material”.

Layton Williams, meanwhile, continued to impress on Saturday night with his jive.

Kicking off the show, the Bury actor delivered quick footwork, a pirouette and an aerial cartwheel to secure a score of 36 – the highest-scoring jive of the series so far.

Bury Times:

Donning a matching glitzy costume with his partner Nikita Kuzmin, they performed to Shake Your Body by SHY FX & T Power featuring Di.

Ballas noted it was one of the most difficult dances, praising it as “absolutely outstanding”, while Anton Du Beke said he agreed somewhat but felt his kicks got a “little heavy” towards the end.

Offering her criticism of Williams, 29, who played Stephen on the BBC Three series Bad Education, Ballas said: "We're at the halfway mark now and I can tell that you've spent a week on precision.

"This like the samba is one of the most difficult dances to dance. You had a lovely drop on every second beat, you had some lovely swing in the middle and you added who you are within the routine.

"I thought it was absolutely outstanding."

There was a more mixed response from Du Beke who agreed with Ballas "to a point" and added: "Of course it's extraordinary what you do, I love watching you dance, but I am watching a jive as well and I have to look at the jive part more closely."

He said he thought the Williams' footwork got a "little heavy" towards the end which prompted boos from the audience.

Responding, Du Beke said: "Well, I know it's a bit early for all that but I have to be honest with you. Am I nitpicky? possibly because you're brilliant but it's the jive part I'm most interested in."

He concluded: "It was great but not your best."

Judge Craig Revel Horwood said he agreed with Du Beke, to more boos, adding Williams need to work on his footwork for Latin dances but praised his aerial cartwheel as "incredible".

Finally, Motsi Mabuse declared the dance "one hell of a jive" and called it "outstanding".

With eights from Du Beke and Revel Horwood and 10s from Ballas and Mabuse, the duo received a total of 36 points which put them second on the Strictly leaderboard again this week, behind Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola.