Rose Ayling-Ellis reduced to tears in ‘moving’ moment

Strictly’s Giovanni Pernice reunites with Rose Ayling-Ellis

EastEnders actress and Strictly Come Dancing winner Rose Ayling-Ellis has confessed she was left “tearing up” today following a “pinch-me moment” at the National Portrait Gallery.

Rose, 28, who is a British Sign Language user and advocate for the deaf community, is incredibly influential and even recently became a recipient of the Visionary Honours for Inspirational Person of the Year.

Taking to Instagram this evening, Rose shared a picture of herself standing in front of her own black-and-white portrait at the gallery in view of her 536,000 followers.

Tagging makeup artist Freya Arabella Scott and hair stylist Ricky Walters, she captioned the photo: “This evening was a real pinch-me moment because a photo of me is displayed at The National Portrait Gallery in the ‘History Makers Now’ selection.

“A 16-year-old me studying Art and visiting all these galleries would not believe my face would one day be on the gallery wall.

She added: “I admit, I did tear up thinking how far I have come. It is a special moment tonight.

“Thank you @nationalportraitgallery for choosing me. I am deeply honoured and very moved.”

Rose’s incredible moment comes after the star recently spoke out about her “shocking” ordeal during a theatre performance, which saw her being heckled by a member of the audience over her use of sign language.

Earlier his year, Rose won critical acclaim for her role as Celia in a West End performance of As You Like It by William Shakespeare.

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She told The Times how a rude interruption from an audience member came during her final matinee performance in January, leaving her feeling shaken up.

Rose explained: “It was a bit of a shock. I didn’t know it was happening at all at the time, because he was shouting.

“And of course I couldn’t hear him. Then someone told me he was upset because I was using sign language and he couldn’t understand what was going on.”

She continued: “I didn’t want him to stop the play. It was my last day. I didn’t want him to ruin it. And then I saw a little girl in the front row whose parents were signing to her and I thought, ‘I’m not going to show you an example of running away. I’m going to carry on.’”

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While Rose admitted carrying on was tough, she decided she would not be put off by the man’s bullying behaviour.

“It was hard, I was trembling,” she admitted. “I couldn’t get that man out of my head and whether others felt the same as him.

“But carrying on was so special because it made every single scene so meaningful and the audience really understood what I was doing.”

Rose catapulted to fame when she starred as Frankie Lewis in BBC One’s EastEnders from 2020 to 2022, before becoming a household name after winning Strictly Come Dancing with Giovanni Pernice in 2021.

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