Strictly's Dan Walker rules himself out of victory - urging people to back rival instead
‘Amazing’ Strictly star Rose Ayling-Ellis is all smiles after being tipped for the Glitterball Trophy by fellow competitor Dan Walker.
The EastEnders actress, 26, is the first deaf person to ever compete in the popular dancing show.
And BBC Breakfast presenter Dan, 44, has urged fans to back the “inspiring” star – who plays Frankie Lewis in the soap – rather than himself following her “magical” foxtrot last weekend.
Dan said: “I know I’m in it but I would give Rose Ayling-Ellis the glitterball now. I voted for her
“She’s amazing, her foxtrot with Giovanni was magical and she is inspiring people every week. My family also sat next to hers last night and they are adorable too.”
Rose has thanked Dan for his praise and admitted their families bonded while watching the show live on Saturday, during which she and pro partner Giovanni Pernice danced the foxtrot to Rose’s Theme from 1997 film Titanic as part of the programme’s Movie Week.
She replied: “Thank you so much Dan, it really means the world. You are amazing! My family loves your family and I got to meet your mum and she is adorable.”
The couple received a score of 36 out of 40 for their foxtrot after picking up nines from all four judges, Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, and Anton Du Beke.
Dan and his pro partner, Nadiya Bychkova, also danced a foxtrot on Saturday, scoring 21 points.
Due to her hearing impairment, Rose has to use muscle memory to recall her dance moves because she can’t rely on the music.
After it was announced she would appear on Strictly, the star was keen to show the programme’s viewers that deaf people can learn to dance.
She said: “I hope I will make the deaf community proud and break down more barriers.
“But I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill and even better I get to learn whilst wearing beautiful dresses made especially for me.
“I think it would be great to break the stereotype that people think that deaf people can’t enjoy music and learn to dance.”
Rose became the first-ever deaf actor to play a deaf character in EastEnders when she joined the soap as Frankie - the daughter of Danny Dyer’s character Mick Carter - last year.
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