Rose Ayling-Ellis responds to Strictly critics with powerful message – 'Don't compare me to Ellie'

Rose Ayling-Ellis has responded to a critical article published this week which called Strictly Come Dancing the BBC's "latest woke box-ticking exercise".

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Taking to her Stories, Rose, who has been deaf since birth and uses British Sign Language to communicate, took to her Stories and shared a passionate message defending the show and calling out those who think TV is "too woke".

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"Please have a watch at John's story… Thank you for speaking up about this @john_whaite," she said, next to a picture of John Whaite's Stories, in which he opened up about his feelings after reading the article.

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"Remember if you think TV is too "woke", you have been living your life being privileged enough not to notice this. It is a huge deal for those from the minority.

rose-ayling-ellis-and-giovannie-winners
rose-ayling-ellis-and-giovannie-winners

Rose won last year's show alongside Giovanni Pernice

"And please don't compare me to Ellie [Simmonds], we both have completely different life experiences that are just not comparable. Just be open to listen and learn. No disabled people are the same. I myself am learning a lot from Ellie, who is amazing btw!" she said at the end.

John, on the other hand, shared several videos speaking out about the article, revealing it had given him a "sleepless night".

"It's an article that directly compares, on BBC's Strictly, my partnership with Johannes with that of Richie [Anderson] and Giovanni [Pernice]. And it also compares Ellie Simmonds on the show to Rose Ayling-Ellis last year.

rose-ayling-ellis-holiday0z
rose-ayling-ellis-holiday0z

The star recently returned from a dreamy holiday

"In using those comparisons she is saying how woke Strictly is this year," he says before reading out some of the statements the author makes in her article that have "really angered" John.

Of his comparison to Richie, John goes on to suggest that the author might have a problem with the new same-sex partnership because Richie is more "flamboyant" that he is, and last year their partnership was more "muted, neutral and masculine," in comparison to this year's celebration of "queerness".

He later tells the author: "Please don't use my partnership with Johannes as a way to undermine or erode the beauty of Richie and Giovanni's partnership."

Trying to tackle the comparison between Rose and Ellie, he revealed: "In using the comparison between Rose and Ellie, what I am reading is, if a disability or an impairment isn't visible and it's not awkward and it doesn't break the mould of what's been before, then it's digestible.

"But as soon as it becomes a little bit different to watch, then she doesn't want to see it, basically. Which I say is Bigotry, it's disgusting, it isn't necessary to say those things," he adds.