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Rose Ayling-Ellis and ex boyfriend Sam - all their photos before split

The EastEnders actress won Strictly in 2021

rose and sam photos
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
Updated: 23 February 2023
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EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis shot to fame in 2021 after she lifted the glitterball trophy with her professional dance partner, Giovanni Pernice.

While the star is currently thought to be single, Rose, 28, previously enjoyed a long-term relationship with her then-boyfriend, Sam Arnold.

WATCH: Rose Ayling-ellis And Giovanni Pernice Share Cute Moment Together


Who was Rose Ayling-Ellis' partner?

Like Rose, Sam is also deaf. The duo were together for a whopping seven years, but tended to keep much of their relationship out of the spotlight.

DISCOVER: Strictly's Rose Ayling-Ellis addresses split from ex-boyfriend Sam Arnold for the first time

Rose at the NTAs© Photo: Getty Images

Rose at the National Television Awards

Despite keeping things on the low-down, Rose shared a few rare insights into their sweet relationship via social media. Over the years, the actress delighted fans with a series of holiday photographs documenting the couples' travels around the world.

In 2019, Rose shared a series of images from her trip to Peru accompanied by Sam. The first snap, posted on Instagram, showed the two sitting on the sand opposite each other as they smiled for the camera.

Rose and Sam in Peru © Photo: Instagram

Rose and Sam exploring the dunes

Other photos in the post included a video of them siding down the sand dunes. Rose captioned the post: "The desert of Huacachina," followed by a green and yellow love-heart emoji.

Soon after, Rose then shared a snap of herself and Sam sat in a boat as they sailed down the Amazon River. She captioned the post: "I stayed in the jungle next to the Amazon River in a lovely local family home for 4 days, even swam in the river! It always had been my dream to visit the Amazon."

PHOTOS: Rose and partner Sam - all their photos together before split

She continued: "We had three guides, Kid, Frank and Bala that stayed with us that show us around the amazon in the way they know it. They live and grew up there and came from tribal family. Bala is a chief of his village. The knowledge they have is priceless that been passed down in generation."

View post on Instagram

Sam supported Rose and Gio on the show

During her time on Strictly Come Dancing, Sam made a rare public appearance in the crowd to support Rose and her professional dance partner. The duo enjoyed a lively night out with Giovanni to celebrate Rose's time on the show.

To mark the special occasion, Giovanni posted a sweet photo on his Instagram Stories featuring Rose and her then-boyfriend enjoying a meal out. The caption read: "Still smiling thinking about this little plate of dessert," with a smiling-face emoji.

Have Rose and Sam split up?

The EastEnders actress confirmed her split with The Telegraph back in December 2022. Rose explained: "I felt, from the start, like I had known him for a very, very long time… if that's part of what 'love at first sight' can mean?"

When asked further details about her private life, the celeb went on to say: "If I do that then I can't switch off when I go home.

MORE: Rose Ayling-Ellis supported by friends and fans as she sets record straight – 'The only way is up!'

"I'd rather talk about my career, because I am really proud of it," she added. "I'm proud of the hard work and I'm so glad I am deaf, because it gives me a purpose. I want to build the ladder and climb up it and leave it behind me for others to follow."

Rose Ayling Ellis showing off her new fringe© Photo: Instagram

The star has some exciting projects lined up

Since the split, it seems the actress has been keeping busy. Rose recently announced she would be leaving her role in EastEnders to focus on other projects and also revealed she would be fronting a brand-new BBC documentary titled Signs For Change.

And in late 2022, Rose hit the headlines for her starring role in a brand-new adaptation of As You Like It. The popular West End show sees Rose using BSL as part of the unique performance.

Are Rose and Giovanni a couple in real life?

During their time on Strictly, Rose and Sicilian heartthrob Giovanni sparked romance rumours thanks to their incredibly close bond. In particular, fans of the show were blown away by the duo's undeniable connection and emotional dance routines.

MORE: Giovanni Pernice talks sizzling chemistry with Rose Ayling-Ellis after dedicating tattoo to her

Viewers were moved to tears during Rose and Gio's contemporary dance to Symphony by Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson, which Rose dedicated to the deaf community.

Giovanni and Rose on Strictly© Photo: Getty Images

Strictly fans adored the couple

During the subsequent tour, they often got candid about their fondness for each other and kept fans entertained with their backstage antics on social media. Here at HELLO!, we previously chatted to body language expert Darren Stanton, on behalf of Betfair Casino, about their wonderful friendship and why the public love them so much.

MORE ON ROSE AND GIOVANNI: The sweetest things they have said about each other

"What you see is very much what you get with Rose and I believe that's why the public have taken her into their hearts," he explained in January. "Her relationship with Giovanni appears to be just as strong as it was when they were competing on Strictly."

Rose and Gio on the red carpet© Photo: Getty Images

The dancing duo took home the Glitterball trophy

Discussing their platonic relationship, Darren explained how Rose particularly holds a "deep affection" for Giovanni. "They have just about the deepest level of rapport you can get as friends," he said.

MORE ROSE: Where is Rose living now that she's single? 

"You may have noticed the way the pair look at each other when performing together - this intense stare, which is a common occurrence, could set paper alight and it's clear the chemistry between the two is purely electric.

Rose and Giovanni on Strictly © Photo: Getty Images

Rose and Gio turned heads on the dance floor

"It's clear that Rose holds a deep affection and has a lot of respect for Giovanni, who has become a very close friend to her."

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