Strictly's Rose Ayling-Ellis celebrates momentous achievement

British Sign Language is now recognised as an official language in England

Strictly Come Dancing star Rose Ayling-Ellis has been working tirelessly, campaigning for British Sign Language laws to change - and on Friday afternoon, it was announced that BSL is on its way to officially being recognised as an official language.

MORE: Strictly's Rose Ayling-Ellis details frustration over her language's 'lack of respect'

The actress - who has supported the bill - explained one of the many barriers deaf people face, telling the BBC: "If I go to the doctor and there's no interpreter it means I have to bring a family member with me. But I don't want that, I want privacy."

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The government has claimed they will back the new bill, which passed its first hurdle in the Commons on Friday, to legally recognise BSL. The bill was put forward by Labour's Rosie Cooper who claimed it would send "a clear message that they [the deaf community] deserve equal access".

Rose's recent win on Strictly with dance partner Giovanni Pernice went down in history, highlighting the needs and awareness for the deaf community. The 27-year-old became the first deaf person to compete and win the show.

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Rose had called on MPs to make BSL an official language and to be given legal status in the UK. She said the UK's lack of familiarity with BSL poses a real problem for the deaf community.

Speaking about the lack of respect shown to the deaf community, Rose recently told The Big Issue: "I'm backing it because this is my language. The fact that my country doesn't see it that way is really sad and means we don't get the respect we deserve and the language deserves.

Rose's appearance on Strictly has gone down in TV history

"BSL is not an official language, legally, in this country. Which is outrageous. Because it is such a beautiful, rich language with its own structure, its own grammar, its own slang. It's even got accents."

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She added: "If it becomes an official language, which we've been fighting for all these years, it will be so emotional for us. Because of the massive interest in BSL recently, a lot of people don't realise how much of a fight the deaf community have had."

The star's presence on Strictly has gone a long way to highlight the deaf community and their needs. The nationwide tour - which kicked off last week - has a registered British Sign Language interpreter for every performance, making this the "biggest ever BSL accessible arena tour" in the UK.

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