EastEnders' Rose Ayling-Ellis spotted for the first time since announcement for Strictly as the first deaf contestant

EastEnders' Rose Ayling-Ellis spotted for the first time since announcement for Strictly as the first deaf contestant

August 26, 2021

STRICTLY’s first deaf contestant, EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, has been spotted looking very excited to start her dance training in London.

The 31-year-old is known of her role as Frankie Lewis on the BBC soap and is making Strictly Come Dancing history by being the first deaf contestant to compete on the show.

Rose was spotted on her way to dance training in London and looked excited to start her rigorous training for the BBC show.

Rose wore a pair of stylish black jeans with distressed detailing.

She also sported a long sleeve ribbed lilac top with comfy Converse trainers in black and square tortoiseshell sunglasses.

The actress was carrying a bottle of water and her phone.

Speaking about becoming Strictly’s first deaf contestant she said: "Finally! about time – but I can’t believe it's me that's doing it.

“I’m so, so excited and I think it will be great to break the stereotype that people think that deaf people can’t enjoy music and learn to dance – so I’d better be able to dance.

“Now it’s out there’s no going back, that’s it, I’m doing it. I’m going to be in it to be there all the way through, otherwise what is the point? the glitterball – that is what I want.

“Every time I watch it, the people on it seem to be having the best times of their lives, so why would I not want to do that?

“The cast of EastEnders are family, they’re really excited, they’re so proud of me and they’ve already been so supportive of me and I think they’re going to be really happy for me.”

Rose, who previously starred in dramas including Summer of Rockets and Casualty, arrived on Albert Square last year playing Frankie.

The actress is nominated for Best Newcomer in the upcoming National Television Awards next month.

She was introduced by Callum Highway (Tony Clay) to his boyfriend Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden), who suffers hearing loss after a boat crash.

The move was praised by deaf organisations for being “an important step towards making deaf people’s lives more visible and better understood.”

Rose added: “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!”

Rose will be joined on this year’s Strictly by former EastEnders actor, Nadia Wadia, who also starred on Goodness Gracious Me and Open All hours spin-off Still Open All Hours.

Rose wants to shatter all the stereotypes of people with no hearing by taking home the glitterball.

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