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- Italian dancer
Rose Ayling-Ellis has heaped praise on dancer Giovanni Pernice following their Strictly Come Dancing win.
The EastEnders actress, the show's first deaf contestant, beat The Great British Bake Off's John Whaite to lift the glitterball trophy, marking Giovanni's first win since he joined in 2015.
To celebrate their win, Rose took to Instagram on Sunday to share snaps of her hugging Giovanni and holding the trophy. In the caption, she gushed about her professional partner.
"I'm dedicating this post to the most wonderful human ever, Giovanni," she began. "The person who was there everyday with me for four months, who knows truly what this journey has been for me, the reason why I have become confident within myself. He came into my world and brought the best out of me.
"I cannot thank him enough for all the work and effort to make me become the dancer that I am today. Winning the Glitterball is the best gift I could ever give to Giovanni because he really deserves it. I am beyond proud of us. I never thought I would leave Strictly with a best friend for life, thank you Gio."
In the comments, the Italian dancer replied, "You are a dream and defo best friend for life !! You are a hero and a role model to everyone And I can't wait to dance again with you ASAP !!"
Rose also shared behind-the-scenes photos of the Strictly creative teams and thanked producers for making sure the show was accessible and providing her with interpreters so she could "focus on my dancing and my strictly journey without worrying about how I would communicate".
According to the BBC, the Strictly final was watched by 11 million people, with a peak audience of 12.3 million.