Rose Ayling-Ellis celebrates Strictly win

Rose Ayling Ellis with Giovanni Pernice holding up Strictly trophy
Rose Ayling Ellis with Giovanni Pernice holding up Strictly trophy Image credit:

On Saturday night millions of us watched Rose Ayling-Ellis win Strictly Come Dancing with her dancefloor partner Giovanni Pernice.

The Eastenders actress became the first contestant on the popular BBC show with hearing loss which, at times, proved challenging for the 27-year-old, but as she explained to the Guardian nothing could had prepared her for being crowned this year’s champion.

“I was so shocked,” she told the publication via Zoom, sitting next to a sign-language interpreter on Sunday morning. “It was really weird – it felt like I was out of my body for a moment.”

Rose admitted it was a very emotional night for her: “I was crying so much beforehand that I ran out of tears,” the actress shared.

On BBC Breakfast presenters Dan Walker and Sally Nugent showed Rose a photo she uploaded on Instagram of herself hugging her mum clutching the trophy.

'When I won I was so shocked I couldn't speak. Everyone came up saying well done and when my mum hugged me i just burst into tears,’ Rose said.

Tracing her days back to childhood the actress told Walker: 'At primary school, nursery school, going way back, where my education was difficult, so my mum had to fight to make it accessible for me.

'Everything I did, I was constantly fighting to get what I needed.'

'We just didn't except it would end up with me winning Strictly come dancing.'

She added: 'It's so normal for disabled people that we're used to fighting all the time, so it's nice not to. And to actually win.' 

The Sunday after the show felt strange for Rose: 'It was very weird. Very quiet, I felt like what just happned? Didn't feel real.'

Speaking about being a role model for people with hearing loss she said: It's so lovely, I didn't have that when I was growing up, I didn't have anyone to look up to. I think it's important to everyone to inspire what they're doing. Like when it comes to an interview make people realise it's not a big deal.

'I'm excited to see what will happen and what will come next.'

Her dancing partner Giovanni said he didn’t have any nerves teaching a deaf person how to dance.

He said: 'I think it was a different way of teaching, but I wasn't worried. I was more excited. I've been on the show so long, so I needed a new sort of sparkle.

'The Jive [on week one] was different, so difficult because its a lot of counting. But when we did the Foxtrot I thought okay, she can dancing. It's been phenomenal.

'When we started our Foxtrot week 3 I thought. I know this year was the hardest and best we've had. Everyone could have been in the final. We were just there every week thinking about our dance.'

'I am beyond proud to be a part of this journey with Rose. It's been my privilege from day one. She was really focused on sending a statement.

'Our couple's choice, we noticed even small things we can make a difference. I think we should all push ourselves to include the deaf community, and any community. If I did it for 13 weeks anyone can.'

It has been reported that Rose Ayling-Ellis could earn over £1 million following her victory.