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EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis tipped to receive MBE for work with deaf community

Rose Ayling-Ellis on the red carpet at the 2021 NTAs
EastEnders favourite Rose Ayling-Ellis is reportedly set to be awarded an MBE from The Queen. (Image credit: Getty)

EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis is rumored to be honored by Her Majesty The Queen and receive an MBE for her commitment to raising awareness of the deaf community.

The TV star has played Frankie Lewis in EastEnders since 2020 and was crowned the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 winner with her professional partner Giovanni Pernice.

She made history during her time on Strictly as she was the first-ever deaf contestant to take part in the show and was adored by viewers for her spectacular performances.

Rose's appearance on Strictly also prompted fans to start learning sign language and she has been dedicated to raising awareness of the deaf community, including making British Sign Language (BSL) recognized as an official language in the UK.

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni with the Glitterball trophy

Rose and her pro partner Giovanni won Strictly Come Dancing last year. (Image credit: BBC/Kieron McCarron)

Now, she is reportedly set to be awarded an MBE in The Queen’s birthday honours list for her inspirational work.

A source allegedly told The Sun (opens in new tab): “She is now in the frame for a gong for services to the deaf community, thanks to her ballroom triumph on the BBC’s Strictly. Her performances – including one with a silent section – sent enrolments for sign-language courses soaring.”

A source also told The Sun: “Her success on Strictly shone a light on the deaf community in a way that surpassed everyone’s expectations.

“Not only did she raise awareness about the challenges deaf people face, but she was also a true inspiration for them – particularly young people. She really did break down boundaries.”

Rose Ayling-Ellis

Rose is known for playing Frankie Lewis on EastEnders. (Image credit: Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron/BBC)

In an interview with National Deaf Children's Society (opens in new tab), Rose spoke of her passion for raising awareness of the deaf community: "My ambition is to amplify deaf voices and to stop people assuming deaf people can’t achieve. The challenges of dealing with people’s lack of understanding made me more determined and want to work harder.

“It’s so important not to be ashamed of being deaf. Both Frankie and I are proud of our deaf identities.”

In other royal news, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cambridge also paid a visit to the EastEnders set where they met the cast and crew of the long-running soap, including Rose.

During their special visit, The Duchess told Rose that the Royal family watched the show and were very supportive of her journey to the final.

EastEnders now airs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm on BBC One — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer now. 

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One later this year. You can watch previous episodes on BBC iPlayer.

Grace Morris
Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.