Rose Ayling-Ellis: EastEnders exit confirmed for Frankie Lewis as Strictly Come Dancing winner quits role

Rose Ayling-Ellis is to leave her EastEnders role as Frankie Lewis, the BBC has been confirmed.

The 27-year-old, who will deliver the Alternative MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival later this month, won Strictly Come Dancing’s glitterball trophy last year alongside professional partner Giovanni Pernice.

Ayling-Ellis joined EastEnders in 2020 as the first deaf actor to play a regular character on the soap.

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Since then, she has been involved in a number of big storylines, including Frankie discovering she is the daughter of Danny Dyer’s character Mick Carter, who was abused as a child.

Rose Ayling-Ellis, pictured with Strictly partner Giovanni Pernice, is to leave her EastEnders role as Frankie Lewis

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    Speaking about her deperture, 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.”

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    Chris Clenshaw, Executive Producer, said: ‘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.

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    Frankie became an integral part of the Carter family (Picture: BBC)

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

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    Ayling-Ellis will deliver the Alternative MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival later this month, where she will discuss her experiences as a deaf actress and life in the TV industry as a young person with a disability.

    The actress, who has been deaf since birth, has been a pioneer for the deaf community, including campaigning for British Sign Language (BSL) to be recognised as an official language.

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    She features in the Rose, Barbie & Friends campaign, teaming up with Barbie to unveil their first doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids.

    Ayling-Ellis also recently became the first celebrity to sign a CBeebies bedtime story.