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08th May 2022

Strictly winner to make TV history reading CBeebies bedtime story

April Curtin

Rose Ayling-Ellis will become the first person to sign a CBeebies BedTime Story (BBC)

She will use sign language and only speak twice in the episode

Rose Ayling-Ellis will make history today when she becomes the first celebrity to sign a CBeebies bedtime story.

The EastEnders actress and Strictly Come Dancing winner, who was born deaf, will mark the end of Deaf Awareness Week by using British Sign Language to tell the tale Can Bears Ski?

It is the first of two stories the 27-year-old has recorded for the show.

Rose Ayling-Ellis in EastEnders (Credit: BBC)
Rose Ayling-Ellis in EastEnders (Credit: BBC)

The actress, who found fame playing Frankie Lewis in EastEnders, stole the nation’s hearts with her performances on Strictly last year – becoming the first deaf contestant to win the competition with dancing partner Giovanni Pernice.

The star actively campaigned for BSL to be recognised as an official language in the UK, and a bill to make this happen passed its final reading in the House of Lords last week.

Speaking about the bill, Ayling-Ellis said she was “so happy” it had been passed, adding: “I think it’s good that we’re getting the respect that we’ve deserved for so long

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