EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis will be making Strictly Come Dancing history as the first deaf contestant to compete on the show.
While the 26-year-old prepares to take to the dancefloor for the all-important coupling ceremony, the TV star has revealed who she first told about her participation on the hit BBC One show on Albert square.
As the blonde bombshell attempts to balance work life with the long hours in the dance studio, the actress has opened up about how excited her close family and friends are to see her taking part in the 19th series.
And it’s fair to say, Strictly fans are just as excited to see the return of the dance competition which is set to start on Saturday.
The soap star told the Daily Star and other publications how Danny Dyer was the first person she shared the joyous news to on the set of EastEnders.
She admitted: “I think I told Danny, [he was] the first person, and Danny was really excited about it.
“Then I told Maddy [Hill] and Kelly [Bright]. So, they’re all very excited for me.”
And as the opening episode draws ever nearer, the actress has made sure to get some strong words of advice from the Strictly alumni on the set of EastEnders.
Rose added: “I’ve had advice from Natalie [Cassidy] who plays Sonia and she said, ‘Always be comfortable in what you wear’.
“And Emma Barton, she told me to just be myself and just be who I am and if I'm shy or I'm being awkward just let me be myself.”
Emma took part 17th series of the show back in 2019 in which she made it all the way down to the final four couples with her partner and new Strictly judge Anton Du Beke.
Soap legend Natalie Cassidy took part in the BBC hit dance competition back in 2009 as she performed alongside her partner Vincent Simone.
Following their advice, Rose hopes that she will be able to use her acting abilities to help combat her nerves on the dancefloor as she revealed her plan to “create a character” for some of the sexier dance numbers.
She continued: “I think the one that I'm probably the most keen to do is the tango because it’s very different to who I am. It's a very sexy, sassy sort of dance and that’s not me.
“I don’t do sexy so it will be a good challenge for me I think, and for people to see that side of me.
“Me – I'm not sexy,” she admitted. “So I think I need to create a character to be able to do the tango.”
And as the first deaf person to take part on the show Rose couldn’t wait to break some of the misconceptions and stereotypes linked to deafness while competing on the show.
The Londoner said: “To be the first deaf person on Strictly, I feel will be a good chance to break the stereotypes of what deaf people can and can’t do.
“So a lot of people think deaf people can’t hear the music, can’t enjoy the music and can’t enjoy dancing and I thought it would be a good platform for me to break that stereotype.”
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She went on to revealed what sort of music she hopes to perform to throughout her time on the show, with Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 as her all-time favourite song.
She continued: “I feel like I've got an old soul in me. I do like old music, Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Dusty Springfield, very old music.”
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on Saturday at 7.45pm
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