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Actress Rose Ayling-Ellis is first deaf contestant for ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

The ‘EastEnders’ actress has joined the line-up.

Rose Ayling-Ellis
Credit: BBC

‘EastEnders’ actress Rose Ayling-Ellis is the 12th celebrity contestant confirmed for the brand new series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing‘.

The news was revealed last night (Thursday 12th August) exclusively on the @BBCEastEnders twitter account. 

Ayling-Ellis will be the first deaf contestant to take part in ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.

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!”

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Ayling-Ellis is best known for her role in ‘EastEnders’, which she joined in 2020, playing Frankie Lewis. She is the first ever deaf actor to play a deaf character on the soap.

Ayling-Ellis has previously appeared in various stage productions, and her other TV credits include ‘Summer of Rockets’ and ‘Casualty’.  She use British Sign Language (BSL).

While this may be a first for ‘Strictly’, in the US actor and model Nyle DiMarco, who is deaf, participated in the US version, ‘Dancing With The Stars’, where he won the show in 2016.

Ayling-Ellis joins McFly’s Tom Fletcher, TV presenter AJ Odudu, comedian Robert Webbchef John Whaitechildren’s presenter Rhys Stephenson“Dragon’s Den” star Sara Davies MBEactress Katie McGlynnchef Tilly Ramsay, actor Greg Wise and actress Nina Wadia OBE in this year’s line-up.

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ returns to BBC One this autumn.

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