Strictly's Tess Daly delivers surprise for viewers after Rose Ayling-Ellis makes history as first deaf star

Strictly's Tess Daly delivers surprise for viewers after Rose Ayling-Ellis makes history as first deaf star

STRICTLY Come Dancing star Rose Ayling-Ellis’s landmark moment as the first deaf contestant was cheered on by the cast and crew in sign language. 

The EastEnders actress performed her first routine – a jive to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off – this Saturday evening alongside pro partner Giovanni Pernice. 


At the end of the high-energy routine, the entire cast and crew were seen on their feet using the sign of ‘applause’ with Tess Daly continuing their breakdown by continuing to speak to them using British Sign Language. 

​​She told Rose: ”Congratulations, you really do make a great team.”  

Rose is joined on the series by her interpreter, who is on hand to help during rehearsals and also during deliberations so the star can understand the feedback. 

The actress was also seen teaching Giovanni how to talk to her by teaching him a few words in sign language. 

Fans were emotional by the effort the team had gone to to make sure that Rose feels as included as possible. 

Speaking on Twitter, one fan wrote “The effort everyone is making to sign for Rose on [Strictly] is lovely. She was incredible and I love her partnership with [Giovanni] I do think having the interpreter visible for all of us would show more inclusivity.” 

“Big fan of people other than Giovanni learning some basic sign to talk to Rose, that’s how it should always be,” said another. 

A third added: “So impressed with Rose and so important to see sign language on TVs biggest show!” 

“Feel so emotional watching rose on [strictly] tonight,” added a fourth. “Dance was always my favourite thing before i lost my hearing, so seeing a deaf performer dance with such grace, so beautifully just means everything to me. [Rose] you’re gonna change the world. thank you.” 

Rose and Giovanni earned 22 out of 40 for their performance, with Shirley ruffling feathers by only giving her a four, while Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke giving them six each. 

Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturday evenings with results show on Sunday. 


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