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Strictly's Rose Ayling-Ellis shares exciting family news – Giovanni Pernice reacts

 The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 winner is celebrating becoming an auntie  

Rose Ayling-Ellis attends British Vogue's Forces For Change at The MAINE Mayfair on November 23, 2023
Kate Thomas
Lifestyle Managing Editor
Updated: 1 April 2024
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Rose Ayling-Ellis shared a long-awaited life update on Instagram over Easter weekend. The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 winner revealed she had become an auntie for the first time after her brother Jacob welcomed a baby boy.

The proud actress, who found fame on EastEnders before treading the boards on the West End, shared a sweet snap of her newborn nephew rocking a colourful babygrow. The 29-year-old star's post was met with a flurry of congratulations, including from her former dance partner and close friend Giovanni Pernice, who commented with a string of heart emojis.

Rose Ayling-Ellis baby nephew wearing animal print babygrow © Instagram
Rose Ayling-Ellis has become an auntie for the first time

Rose's sister-in-law also expressed her joy at the special family relationship, writing: "Little man loves his auntie Rose." Another fan said they had been impressed by Rose's brother Jacob, who works as a first aid responder, prompting the TV star to thank them for their kind message and to say how "proud" she is of him.

The photo dump, captioned "Lately…", featured everything from a fun-filled game of Bananagrams to a recent outing to the National Theatre to watch Michael Sheen in the NHS origin story Nye.

Rose Ayling-Ellis holding bouquet of flowers on London street © Instagram
The Strictly 2021 winner shared a long-awaited life update after weeks of silence

After studying the word clues in her Bananagrams game, fans were convinced they had worked out what Rose's next acting project could be.

"Ooh do I think I know what you might be doing?! Congratulations on becoming an Auntie xx," one wrote, while another penned: "Congratulations on your new role Auntie Rose. Are there some cryptic clues in your Scrabble board?".

Rose Ayling-Ellis taking mirror selfie in TV trailer © Instagram
Rose has been busy filming ITV drama Code of Silence

Rose will shortly be starring in Code of Silence, an upcoming ITV drama that will see her play a deaf reporter who returns to her quiet hometown at the same time a serial killer becomes active. 

This comes after the talented actress scored an Olivier nomination For her turn as Celia in As You Like It in London’s West End.

Rose Ayling-Ellis wearing black bodycon dress with long hair© Instagram
The former EastEnders star is committed to making a change for the deaf community

Strictly was a game-changer for Rose, but she admits it was a difficult decision. It was only after making TV bosses agree to certain conditions that she signed on the dotted line.

A visible in-studio interpreter, updated subtitles uploaded to iPlayer, audio description for blind people, and deaf-awareness training for cast and crew were non-negotiables for her.

"They went further than I’d asked so I said yes," she told The Guardian last year. "On my first day, everyone finger spelt their name to me. It was a special gesture.”

Giovanni Pernice standing with Rose Ayling-Ellis© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Rose and Giovanni Pernice remain good friends following their close partnership

One thing's for sure – Rose is grateful for the platform Strictly afforded her, enabling her to represent the deaf community on a national level while fostering real change in the media landscape.

DISCOVER: Strictly pros' glitzy weddings: From Karen Hauer's 130-acre hotel to Graziano Di Prima's castle 

It's not something she takes lightly. "I’ve had so many opportunities because of all this," she said. "And I’m in this position where people are listening to me.

"It comes with a sense of responsibility: I don’t want to make a mistake, or let the deaf community down. It feels [like] a lot is on my shoulders."

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