Rose Ayling-Ellis: Strictly Come Dancing winner to leave EastEnders

Rose Ayling-Ellis is set to depart EastEnders after two years.

The 27-year-old became the first deaf actor to play one of the long-running soap’s regular characters when she joined the series in 2020. She played the role of Frankie Lewis.

She has already filmed her final scenes for the series, which won’t air until autumn.

Speaking ahead of her departure, she said: “It’s been incredibly special to be EastEnders’ first regular deaf actor. I have loved my time on the show and Frankie has been such an awesome character to play, however now feels like the right time for me to move on and I am excited and ready for new challenges.

“I will always treasure my time on the show and all the incredible people I have worked with, who have supported my growth as an actor these last two years and given me so many amazing memories.”

She added: “I am excited for viewers to see Frankie’s exit storyline; I think it’s a really important one that will hit home for lots of people.”

Fans of the series have shared their sadness over the actor’s departure on social media, and paid tribute to her performance.

“Sad to hear the news of Rose Ayling-Ellis as Frankie Lewis is leaving #EastEnders soon,” one person wrote. “She was an exceptional actress who gave a lot of deaf awareness in her story lines... I hope she continues to have such a brilliant and awarding career, like she deserves.”

Rose Ayling-Ellis as Frankie in ‘EastEnders' (BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)
Rose Ayling-Ellis as Frankie in ‘EastEnders' (BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

“Oh no seriously loved Frankie hope ygd door left open,” wrote another. “@RoseAylingEllis is a fantastic actress wish her every success in whatever she does next.”

“The world is her oyster now …. Amazing lady who deserves all the best things in life,” someone else commented.

Last year, Ayling-Ellis finished first on the BBC reality series Strictly Come Dancing alongside pro partner Giovanni Pernice.

Ayling-Ellis was the first deaf contestant to take part in the popular dance competition.