Rose Ayling-Ellis has announced she is stepping down from her role as Frankie Lewis in BBC's EastEnders. The actress, who was the first deaf actor to play a regular deaf character on the soap, joined the popular show two years ago but has revealed she's leaving to "take on new challenges".
Rose's news was confirmed in a statement: "It's been incredibly special to be EastEnders' first regular deaf actor. I have loved my time on the show and Frankie has been such an awesome character to play, however now feels like the right time for me to move on and I am excited and ready for new challenges.
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"I will always treasure my time on the show and all the incredible people I have worked with, who have supported my growth as an actor these last two years and given me so many amazing memories. I am excited for viewers to see Frankie's exit storyline; I think it's a really important one that will hit home for lots of people."
EastEnders' bosses added further in the statement: "Rose is the first deaf actor to play a regular deaf character on EastEnders and has been part of a number of big storylines including the discovery that she is Mick’s daughter after he was abused as a child. Rose will bow out this autumn and has already filmed her final scenes."
Rose Ayling Ellis has shared she is leaving EastEnders
Fans were quick to respond to the news and many were shocked. One person wrote in the comments: "Noooooooo I love Frankie! I hope she comes back. Another said: Good luck for the future rose, we love you!"
A third added: "Ah, that's a shame as she's been great! Onwards and upwards for Rose!", while a fourth commented: "Nooooo! She is one of my favourites."
Rose and Giovanni won Strictly in 2021
Rose has enjoyed huge success in her television career since she first appeared in Albert Square. Alongside her stint on the soap, the actress joined BBC ballroom competition Strictly Come Dancing in 2021 alongside professional partner Giovanni Pernice.
Rose, who was the dancing programme's first-ever deaf contestant, and Giovanni went on to lift the Glitterball trophy as series 19 champions.
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