Rose Ayling-Ellis makes history with Strictly Come Dancing win

She triumphed in the show alongside partner Giovanni Pernice.

Laura Harding
Saturday 18 December 2021 21:27
Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis (Guy Levy/BBC)
Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis (Guy Levy/BBC)

Soap star Rose Ayling-Ellis has made history as the first deaf winner of Strictly Come Dancing.

The actress triumphed in the BBC One show alongside partner Giovanni Pernice defeating Great British Bake Off star John Whaite and his partner Johannes Radebe the first all-male pairing in the show’s history.

Disability equality charity Scope has described Ayling-Ellis’s participation in the show as a “massive step forward” for disability representation.

Reacting to their win, Ayling-Ellis told Pernice: “I just want to say you’re so amazing, you pushed me to believe in myself more than I believed in myself.

“You’re an incredible teacher and a wonderful friend and we have gone through a lot, and I just want you to know you’ve always got a piece of my heart.”

Pernice expressed his joy saying: “Incredible. I have to say thank you to this beautiful young lady who made all my dreams come true.

“It took me seven years to get that thing and you became the best dancer, the best teammate I could have asked for, you are a dream so thank you for everything.”

During the live final, which went ahead without contestant AJ Odudu – who pulled out on Friday due to an ankle injury, both couples performed three dances.

Ayling-Ellis, who is the show’s first ever deaf contestant, and Pernice dazzled by performing a quickstep, their couple’s choice routine and a showdance.

After performing the Romeo and Juliet-inspired showdance to The Rose by Bette Middler, Ayling-Ellis said: “I’ve become more me than I’ve ever been because of Strictly.”

Both pairs had matching scores during the final, with both duos receiving a perfect 40 for their favourite dances and their showdances.

After their couple’s choice dance, Craig Revel Horwood told Ayling-Ellis her performance was “stunning, absolutely stunning”.

Motsi Mabuse added: “Your ability to connect to yourself and to Giovanni and to connect us all together is sensational. I’m so proud to have you in this final.”

Shirley Ballas continued: “I know in your heart you did it for the deaf community but for me you did this for every person watching this show. You are an inspirational young lady.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in