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Strictly Come Dancing winner and EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis will sign a Cbeebies Bedtime Story on Sunday



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Strictly Come Dancing winner Rose Ayling-Ellis, who was the first deaf person to win the Glitterball trophy, is to become the first celebrity to sign a Cbeebies Bedtime Story.

The actress and dance champion, who plays Frankie Lewis in the BBC soap EastEnders, is the first well-known face to sign a story for the children's channel using British Sign Language (BSL).

Making her debut in the Cbeebies story corner, Rose will tell the story of a young bear and his dad on a journey to learn more about and manage their deafness.

Dancer Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis lifted the glitterball last year. Picture: BBC/ Guy Levy
Dancer Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis lifted the glitterball last year. Picture: BBC/ Guy Levy

Called 'Can Bears Ski', the book written by Raymond Antrobus and illustrated by Polly Dunbar, draws on the author's own experience to show how isolating it can be for a deaf child living in a hearing world.

Rose, who was crowned the winner of Strictly at the end of last year alongside her professional partner Giovanni Pernice, has had a busy few months since leaving the dance floor.

Rose plays Frankie Lewis in the BBC soap EastEnders. Picture: BBC
Rose plays Frankie Lewis in the BBC soap EastEnders. Picture: BBC

In February she was named the third most influential person in television by the Radio Times, she has taken her love of dance on the road joining the Strictly Come Dancing UK-wide tour and has thrown her support behind government plans to make BSL a legally recognised language.

Her upcoming appearance on the BBC children's channel will mark the first ever BSL signed story, which will also be subtitled, with Rose speaking only to introduce the story at the beginning and afterwards to say goodnight to the young audience.

Rose Ayling-Ellis is the first celebrity to sign a Cbeebies Bedtime Story
Rose Ayling-Ellis is the first celebrity to sign a Cbeebies Bedtime Story

She said: "I am super excited to read my first CBeebies Bedtime Story in British Sign Language and it’s even more wonderful to share a story written by a deaf writer. I hope deaf children enjoy the story and it inspires hearing children to want to learn BSL more!"

The special episode will air on Sunday to mark the end of Deaf Awareness Week and it is the first of two stories the 27-year-old has recorded for Cbeebies. The other episode will be released at a later date.

CBeebies Bedtime Story is on daily at 6.50pm and on BBC iPlayer, where viewers can also catch-up on other stories, with episodes signed by a BSL interpreter also airing every Saturday and Sunday.



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