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'Strictly Come Dancing' winner Rose Ayling-Ellis returns to 'EastEnders' set

Rose Ayling-Ellis on the red carpet at the 2021 NTAs
Rose Ayling-Ellis has returned to Albert Square after her 'Strictly' win. (Image credit: Getty)

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 champion Rose Ayling-Ellis has returned to EastEnders for filming after her history-making Strictly win.

Rose’s character, Frankie Lewis, bid an emotional farewell to the soap, which fans initially feared would be permanent. However, Rose was there to reassure fans during an interview on today’s This Morning that she’s in fact already back on set.

Accompanied by her former Strictly professional partner Giovanni Pernice, she revealed, “My first day back was yesterday. It was good fun. It’s weird to be back, I feel like, “oh, hello everyone” and everyone was so excited to see me again, back in their Vic. It was really lovely.”

Luckily, EastEnders bosses gave the 27-year-old actress time off the soap to focus on the intense training of Strictly Come Dancing, with Rose saying to Metro.co.uk that: “Normally, EastEnders makes you work at the same time as doing Strictly, but EastEnders gave me time off, so I can just focus on Strictly completely.” 

Rose Ayling-Ellis as Frankie Lewis

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

While we know that Rose has no plans on leaving the soap, it’s a different story for Danny Dyer, who plays Rose’s on-screen father, Mick Carter. The BBC confirmed on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, that Danny Dyer would be leaving the soap after a nine-year stint on the show.  

Mick Carter with his son in EastEnders

Danny Dyer is leaving Walford behind. (Image credit: BBC)

The statement read: “Danny has made Mick Carter an iconic character which we shall always be grateful for, however, we won't be saying goodbye just yet as there's still quite some time—and plenty of explosive drama for Mick — to come before he departs Walford."

Since his decision to leave the soap, there have been rumours that he could be the next Doctor Who?! Could he be swapping the Queen Vic for the TARDIS?

EastEnders airs tonight at 7:30pm on BBC1— see our TV Guide for full listings. Episodes of Strictly Come Dancing are available to watch on-demand on BBC iPlayer.

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.


Some of her favourite TV shows are Line of Duty, Fresh Meat, The Great British Bake Off, and Gogglebox. In her spare time, Grace likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series!