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Wales Online
Wales Online
Sam Cook

Strictly champion Rose Ayling-Ellis asks people to stop comparing Ellie Simmonds to her in powerful Instagram post

Former EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis has responded to an article that called Strictly Come Dancing the BBC's "latest woke box-ticking exercise". The 27-year-old, who was the show's first deaf contestant, shared Strictly co-star John Whaite's Instagram Story which slammed the article published in The Telegraph.

The article made comparisons to Rose and the 2022 series' contestant Ellie Simmonds, who has achondroplasia, as well as comparing John's same-sex pairing with Johannes Radebe last year to Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice's partnership this year.

In John's Instagram Story, he said that he'd had a "sleepless night" after reading what had been written about himself and Rose and, particularly, the comparisons made to this year's contestants Richie and Ellie, who is partnered with Nikita Kuzmin.

Read more: Strictly's Ellie Simmonds thanks fans after they rushed to her defence over horrible comments

Nikita Kuzmin and Ellie Simmonds during the first live show (PA)

Commenting on the article herself on Instagram, Rose said: "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. She continued: "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.

"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!" Rose added.

Whilst Rose requested not to be compared to Ellie , 33-year-old John said: “Please don’t use my partnership with Johannes as a way to undermine or erode the beauty of Richie and Giovanni’s partnership.”

On Thursday, September 29, John posted to his Instagram Stories once again and said: "I'm so glad that we all seem to be on the same page regarding that vitriolic article," and urged his followers to "club together" against 'trolls'. You can get more celebrity news and other story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.


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