BBC Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice rushes to comfort Rose Ayling-Ellis after 'heartbreak'

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice posing during a Strictly tour photocall
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice stole the nation's hearts back in 2021 -Credit:Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live

Strictly Come Dancing's Giovanni Pernice was seen comforting his former dance partner, Rose Ayling-Ellis, as she shared a deeply emotional post on Instagram. The ex-EastEnders actress, who danced with the Italian pro on the popular BBC show, confessed to feeling "terrified and heartbroken" in response to recent medical advancements.

This came after news broke of a British toddler regaining her hearing following a groundbreaking gene therapy trial aimed at 'curing' deafness. Ayling-Ellis, who has been deaf since birth, voiced her thoughts on this development by posting a sweet throwback photo of herself as a child, along with an extensive caption.

As reported by the Daily Star, she said: "Here is a photo of me as a toddler. If I had been born a couple of years later, my life could have been very different.

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"Today, it was reported that a gene therapy trial has taken place. I knew that it was going to happen, but I didn't expect it so soon.

"My first reaction was feeling terrified and heartbroken. It feels like the end. Let me explain why. Imagine a world where everyone is 'normal'. What will become of our story, our culture, language, and identity? Will we be the last deaf generation and end up in a museum somewhere?

"Deaf people have existed throughout human history. Who decides that their lives are not worth being integrated into society? Who assumes that we want to be 'fixed'? Where will they draw the line?"

She continued: "Will all the hard work that deaf people fought for inclusivity be thrown out of the window? Why would society meet us halfway now they are the 'cure'?

"A cure is defined as 'relieving a person of the symptoms of a disease or condition'. My deafness is not a disease or a condition. I don't need relief from it. My deafness has given me many opportunities, and my life is richer because of it. Why would I want that to be gone?

"There are many deaf people out there that are doing great things! Why should we tell them that they are broken when, in fact, they are winning? To add insult to injury, this was released during Deaf Awareness Week.

"The week should be about embracing and spreading awareness about our culture. Not something to overcome. Can you help me out here? Let's spread positivity. Leave a comment about your favourite thing about being deaf or being with deaf people?"

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni -Credit:PA Archive/PA Images

Rose also added a note regarding the family who opted for their baby's hearing restoration, saying: "Please respect the decision made by the family for their little girl. Like any parent, they are doing what they believe is best for their child.

"This is not a rant directed towards them in any way. Rather, it is a rant directed towards the society that makes us all believe that being deaf will only bring us suffering when in reality it's quite the opposite."

Italian dancer Giovanni then made his feelings clear, replying to Rose's post with three loving hearts and liking the post. The pair have become one of Strictly Come Dancing's most memorable duos, largely due to their moving silent dance routine performed on the show in 2021.

However, not everyone agreed with Rose's outspoken sentiment. One follower even suggested they wouldnt want their offspring to face the same challenges: "I have two deaf children. This news has brought me joy. You would never choose for your children to be deaf. It's an amazing advancement in science."

Another said: "It's not easy being debilitated or perhaps even in a minority group. Now I couldn't think of a more useless argument to prevent hearing loss than this one.

"I can see why it would leave the public in economic struggles to afford this treatment, however. And, the resistance of gene therapy is a losing argument, inevitably." A third added: "I really like you, but I think this is an awfully self-serving post."

However, some followers supported her views, with one stating: "Because of the deaf community, my son was able to find his voice when he lost it to progressive mutism. BSL [British Sign Language] is such a rich language that enables him to truly express himself in a way no AAC [augmentative and alternative communication] can.

"That is only because the deaf community exists and their language exists. Such a rich culture that in a small way let my son have a way to express himself, although not deaf without it we'd have lost even more."