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Strictly Come Dancing winner and EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis named third most influential person in TV by the Radio Times


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Strictly Come Dancing winner Rose Ayling-Ellis from Hythe has been named the third most influential person in television by the Radio Times.

The former John Wallis Academy pupil achieved the title after she made history by becoming the first deaf person to win the competition's glitterball.

Rose plays Frankie Lewis in TV soap opera EastEnders. Picture: BBC/Kieron McCarron
Rose plays Frankie Lewis in TV soap opera EastEnders. Picture: BBC/Kieron McCarron

The actress is also known for playing Frankie Lewis, the daughter of Danny Dyer's character Mick Carter, in EastEnders.

The Radio Times' TV 100 2021 list recognises the top 100 people who made an impact in television last year.

It's pulled together by leading figures from across the industry, including Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s director of content who says Rose was picked for the third spot because she 'defied stereotypes' and proved that hearing impairments are not a barrier to success.

She added: "Rose catapulted on to TV screens in 2020 as Frankie in EastEnders and left Mick Carter stunned when she dropped the bombshell that she was his daughter.

"The first deaf actress to use sign language in the soap, she then went on to capture the public’s imagination by winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2021 and becoming the show’s first ever deaf contestant.

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 18/12/2021 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Giovanni Pernice, Rose Ayling-Ellis - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy (54870101)
Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 18/12/2021 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Giovanni Pernice, Rose Ayling-Ellis - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy (54870101)

"Rose has defied stereotypes to prove that hearing impairments need not be a barrier.

"That electrifying moment in the middle of primetime TV when she covered Giovanni’s ears and danced without sound, for 10 seconds, 10 million people experienced the world through Rose’s eyes and ears.

"It was mesmerising and an extraordinary tribute to the deaf community.

"She’s back filming in Walford and I’m looking forward to her return soon."

Russell T Davies, whose drama 'It’s A Sin' focused on the lives lost to Aids in the 80s, took the top spot with the show's leading actor, Olly Alexander, coming second.

Rose performed on strictly for 12 weeks. Picture: BBC/Guy Levy
Rose performed on strictly for 12 weeks. Picture: BBC/Guy Levy

Rose won the competition with dance partner Giovanni Pernice in December.

As well as inspiring viewers across the country, her story has been hugely influential to pupils at her former school in Ashford.

When it was announced Rose would be appearing on the show, teachers from the John Wallis Academy who remembered the 27-year-old for her 'charm and determination' shared stories of her in assemblies.

Staff and pupils alike eagerly watched Rose perform every week, she featured in numerous school newsletters, and became all people could talk about on Monday mornings following the hype of the show.

Since her win, pupils have been asking teachers for sign language classes while others are using her success to fuel their passions for dance.

Before her role in EastEnders, Rose performed in several stage productions, including Mother Courage at the Royal Exchange, Faith, Hope And Charity R&D at the National Theatre and Herons Workshop at the Lyric in Hammersmith.

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