Strictly champion Rose Ayling-Ellis to sign CBeebies bedtime story


Actress and Strictly Come Dancing winner Rose Ayling-Ellis is to become the first celebrity to sign a CBeebies bedtime story.

The 27-year-old soap star will make her debut on the show on Sunday to mark the end of Deaf Awareness Week.

Using British Sign Language (BSL), the EastEnders actress, who has been deaf since birth, will tell the tale of a young bear who struggles to hear.

Can Bears Ski?, 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 in a hearing world.

The book will be the first ever BSL-signed story on CBeebies and it will see Ayling-Ellis speaking only to introduce it and at the end of the programme to say goodnight to the young viewers.

The story will also have subtitles.

It will be the first of two stories she has recorded for CBeebies.

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Ayling-Ellis 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.”

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She follows in the footsteps of other stars who have told stories on CBeebies include Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy and Ed Sheeran.

Ayling-Ellis actively campaigned for BSL to be recognised as an official language and be given legal status in the UK.

She was the first deaf contestant to win Strictly Come Dancing.

While competing in the 19th series of the hit show, Ayling-Ellis performed a moving routine with dance partner Giovanni Pernice during which they paused the music and danced in silence as a tribute to the deaf community.

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