Rose Ayling-Ellis to be Strictly’s first deaf contestant

EastEnders actor is confirmed as BBC dance contest’s 12th celebrity for 2021 season

• ‘Deafness and music are compatible’: why Rose Ayling-Ellis on Strictly matters so much

The EastEnders actor Rose Ayling-Ellis is to make television history as Strictly Come Dancing’s first ever deaf contestant.

The 26-year-old, who is the 12th celebrity to be confirmed for the new series, also broke new ground last year when she became the first deaf actor to play a deaf character on the soap, as Frankie Lewis.

Related: Strictly’s first male couple: small steps for John Whaite, a giant leap for TV

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