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Strictly Come Dancing: Actress Rose Ayling-Ellis To Be Show’s First Deaf Dancer

August 13, 2021

EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis is set to become the first deaf dancer on Strictly Come Dancing.

Ayling-Ellis, who plays Frankie Lewis, is the 12th star to be announced out of the 15 who will take to the dance floor when the BBC show returns this autumn.

“To be the first deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing is so exciting and a little bit scary,” she said in a statement on Thursday.

“I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers.”

She continued: “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!”

Joining the soap in 2020, Ayling-Ellis, who communicates using British Sign Language, made history by becoming the first deaf actor to play a deaf character in the fictional town of Walford.

The 19th series of Strictly is expected to be the normal length after being slightly shorter in 2020 because of the Covid pandemic.

Bruno Tonioli will be absent from the judges’ desk this year, replaced by long-serving professional dancer Anton Du Beke. Four new professionals have also been revealed.

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