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Rose Ayling-Ellis quits EastEnders after two years as Frankie Lewis

Rose Ayling-Ellis as Frankie Lewis in EastEnders
Rose Ayling-Ellis as Frankie Lewis in EastEnders. (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders favourite Rose Ayling-Ellis has announced she is leaving the soap after two years.

The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 winner, who has played EastEnders' Frankie Lewis since 2020 revealed the news on her social media pages today, announcing that she has already filmed her final scenes on the soap. 

Rose Ayling-Ellis 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. 

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"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."

Not only did Rose play the first regular deaf character on EastEnders, but she also made TV history on Strictly Come Dancing last year when she danced her way to victory with professional partner Giovanni Pernice, wowong the world with their couple's choice dance, which featured a groundbreaking silent segment. 

Nancy Carter and Frankie Lewis get a shock at the business unit

Rose has played Frankie Lewis for more than two years.  (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders Executive Producer, Chris Clenshaw said of Rose's departure: "I have only had the pleasure to work with Rose for a short time but she has always been an incredible asset to EastEnders; not just as a phenomenal actor, but as an amazing company member too. 

"As part of the Carter family, Rose has shone in important narratives such as discovering she’s Mick Carter’s daughter as a result of child abuse; and she will soon tackle the important issue highlighting women’s safety on the streets. 

"We at EastEnders are incredibly proud of everything Rose has achieved — she’s a real trailblazer, and we wish her every success."

Rose will bow out of the soap as Frankie this autumn, but she isn't the only member of the Carter family to be leaving Albert Square. Danny Dyer is also leaving his role as Mick Carter later this year.

EastEnders 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. 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.