Rose Ayling-Ellis has revealed her big hope after winning Strictly Come Dancing is to encourage hearing people to change their perception of the Deaf community.
On Saturday night, Rose, 27, and her professional partner Giovanni Pernice, 31, beat former Bake Off winner John Whaite, 32, and Johannes Radebe, 34, to lift the glitterball trophy after weeks of moving the nation with her elegant routines.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Rose and Giovanni told Strictly co-star Dan Walker – who voted for Rose throughout the series – and his co-host Sally Nugent how they hope their victory makes a huge difference.
Showing off her trophy via video call, she said: ‘It is so lovely because I didn’t have that when I was growing up. I didn’t have anyone to look up to.
‘But also it is important to inspire hearing people to think about what they are doing and to change their perception, so when a Deaf person comes for a job interview they don’t have to panic or freak out.
‘They can be like “They are just deaf, that’s all” and making it accessible, like how Strictly did.
‘I am really excited and I am looking forward to seeing what happens next and how it will carry on.’
Giovanni, who joined Strictly in 2015 but had not previously won a series, told the programme he had slept with his trophy.
The 31-year-old added: ‘I think we put out there a big, big statement.
‘Every time I say to Rose the same thing.
‘Obviously it is nice to win the show but I think we managed to put a statement – very important for Rose, very important for the deaf community.
‘Every week we would go there, we would smash our dance and we just proved everything is possible.’
Giovanni beamed as he said he was ‘beyond proud’ to have danced alongside Rose and, speaking about accessibility, added: ‘We all should start to push ourselves to include the deaf community and not just the deaf community – anything else.
‘If I did it for 13 weeks, everybody can.’
As for the future, Rose said she will embark on the Strictly live tour with Giovanni and then return to EastEnders as Frankie Lewis.
During the live final – which went ahead without contestant AJ Odudu, who pulled out on Friday due to an ankle injury – both couples performed three dances, ending up with matching scores from the judges, with both receiving a perfect 40 for their revisited favourite dances and their showdances.
An average of 11 million people watched the final, giving BBC One a 57.8% share in the overnight ratings.
Strictly Come Dancing is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.
Credit: Original article published here.