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EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis has revealed that her soap co-star Danny Dyer was one of the only people she told about signing up to Strictly Come Dancing.
The 26-year-old EastEnders actress, who plays Albert Square’s Frankie, explained that Danny was the first of her friends on set that she spilled the secret to, and that the Mick Carter actor is now hoping to come down and cheer her on in person.
Rose explained: “I told Danny first and Danny was really, really proud of me. Then I told Maddy [Hill, who plays Nancy] and Kellie [Bright, who plays Linda]. They were all just so, so excited for me.”
And while Rose is on the final countdown to her dancing debut, Danny and the rest of her work colleagues – many of whom have taken part in the show – have been dishing out helpful tips.
Rose, who is Strictly's first deaf contestant, revealed: “Emma Barton [who plays Honey] and Danny just said to just be myself.
“And I had advice from Natalie [Cassidy] who plays Sonia. She said, 'Always feel comfortable in what you wear, so if anything feels too long, always say, 'Can I have it a bit shorter than that?'"
The star also said that the EastEnders gang are keeping their fingers firmly crossed that they can come and support her in the BBC studio when the show kicks off.
She said: “I think that they will. They’ll want to, but because of Covid we don’t know if they can.”
Continuing to open up about why she wanted to take part in the show and what encouraged her to sign up, Rose said she feels like she has “a purpose.”
The actress explained: “I feel like it’s so important for somebody like me to be on the show, I want to break down the stereotype that deaf people can’t dance and can’t enjoy music.”
Meanwhile, the show’s Executive Producer Sarah James has spoken about how Strictly is adapting and learning to make sure Rose gets everything she can out of the experience.
Sarah explained: “Already myself and the team have learned a lot from Rose. She's an amazing person.”
She continued: "She's also very honest about what she needs and what we need to adapt. So it's been an ongoing conversation.
“All of the team are doing deaf awareness training, which has been brilliant and [also] learning some sign language.”
Sarah also went on to say how things will be slightly different for Rose in the training room and on the night of the performance itself.
“Rose will need an interpreter with her all the time, so she'll always have an interpreter with her in training and then on the show, you may see an interpreter occasionally on camera.”
“Obviously, she needs somebody to interact with the judges comments and her chats with Claudia.”
Sarah concluded: “But other than that, I know that Rose really is looking forward to the show just like everybody else, and I can't wait to see what she does.”
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Strictly Come Dancing starts on Saturday 18th September on BBC One.
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