First deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing

Rose Ayling-Ellis. Image: BBC

Rose Ayling-Ellis will be Strictly Come Dancing’s first ever deaf contestant.

The multi-award-winning entertainment show, produced by BBC Studios, will return to BBC One for its 19th series this autumn, once again bringing glitter, glamour and glorious dancing to Saturday and Sunday nights.

Rose said, “To be the first deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing is sooooo exciting.. and a little bit scary. It is the hardest secret I have ever had to keep so it feels amazing to finally have this out in the open! I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. But I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill and even better I get to learn whilst wearing beautiful dresses made especially for me!”

Actor Rose Ayling-Ellis is best known for her role in EastEnders, which she joined in 2020, playing Frankie Lewis. Rose is the first ever deaf actor to play a deaf character on the soap. She has previously appeared in various stage productions, and her other TV credits include Summer of Rockets and Casualty. Rose uses British Sign Language (BSL).


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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