Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Rose Ayling-Ellis hails use of sign language interpreters in Strictly live shows

(Jacob King/PA)
(Jacob King/PA)

Rose Ayling-Ellis has said she feels “proud” to have encouraged Strictly Come Dancing to introduce sign language interpreters at its live shows, as the tour begins in Birmingham.

The EastEnders star, the BBC One programme’s first deaf contestant, and her partner Giovanni Pernice are among the former contestants and pros taking to the floor at the Utilita Arena on Thursday.

For the first time, the performances will have British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters, following a campaign by Ayling-Ellis.

Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2022
Max George and Katya Jones (Jacob King/PA)

Speaking during the press launch, she told the PA news agency: “I feel so proud of us and I am also proud of Strictly too because they listened and they just do it.

“Everyone in the crew has got deaf awareness training as well, so it is just such a lovely step.

“I feel like it is not actually hard work. They make it easy for me and that is what it should be. So hopefully it will influence other companies to do the same.”

EastEnders actress Maisie Smith was also pictured during the launch after replacing TV presenter AJ Odudu at short notice.

Odudu was forced to pull out of the live final of the 2021 series after suffering a torn ligament.

The shows will also feature Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec, Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin, Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu, John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, and Max George and Katya Jones.

Ramsay, whose father is celebrity chef Gordon, said appearing on the 2021 series had improved her confidence.

She told PA: “I would say that, for me, it really helped boost my confidence. I was doing things I have never ever done before, wearing things I have never worn.

“I started off really scared and timid but I think Nikita and everyone else helped bring out that inner confidence and fun side to everything.

“So I definitely also see dance in a whole other light. I love it and I don’t think I ever want to stop.”

Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2022
The professional dancers on stage (Jacob King/PA)

The tour will feature group performances from the show’s professional dancers while the judging panel will be made up of Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli.

It will be hosted by It Takes Two presenter and former Strictly professional Janette Manrara.

The live tour will travel to Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Glasgow and Nottingham.

It will finish at London’s O2 Arena on February 13.

Already a subscriber? Sign in