Actress Rose Ayling-Ellis is ‘stepping out’ to raise awareness around hearing loss when she joins the new series of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
The actress, who plays Frankie Lewis in Eastenders will be the first contestant on the show who has a hearing disability.
At a press conference to launch the new series Ayling-Ellis said: “I wanted to do Strictly because I feel like I’ve got a purpose because I am deaf. To be the first deaf person on Strictly, I feel it would be a good chance to break the stereotype of what deaf people can and cannot do.
“A lot of people think deaf people can’t hear the music and enjoy the music and enjoy the dancing, so I thought it would be good to break that.”
On her thoughts on how her appearance on Strictly will impact the deaf community, Rose “It’s very excited and positive.
“Also, I think it will be interesting to see the reaction from the audience. The deaf community is very excited and I just hope a lot of things come out of it that will improve the deaf people’s experience – people’s attitude will change and deaf people will have better experiences, probably get more jobs.”
Strictly Come Dancing starts on BBC One, September 18 at 7.45pm and available afterwards on BBC iPlayer.
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