Professional dancer Giovanni Pernice has hailed Rose Ayling-Ellis as a "legend" after she announced some exciting career news. The EastEnders actress, 27, told her Instagram followers that she will be starring in a Shakespeare production, after her exit from the soap in the summer.
Rose and Giovanni enchanted the nation when they won Strictly Come Dancing last year and have remained friends since, with Rose even visiting Giovanni in Sicily in the summer and meeting his sister. The professional dancer was one of the first to congratulate Rose when she announced her new role in a production of Shakespeare's play As You Like It, The Mirror reports.
The actress wrote: "So excited to finally share this news! I am thrilled to be going back to theatre with this talented group of people. Scary thought to be performing Shakespeare for the very first time playing Celia.
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"I’m feeling privileged to be able to do this in this incredible new space. Can’t wait to get creative." Giovanni was quick to comment "legend" on the post, followed by an emoji of a face with love hearts for eyes.
Another Strictly winner, Stacey Dooley, commented on the post, simply with a powerful fist emoji, while former EastEnders actress Louise Lytton posted two clapping hands emojis and a love heart.
Fans have been hoping for Rose and Giovanni to get together after the star reportedly split from her boyfriend Samuel Arnold. After lifting the Glitterball trophy, Giovanni thanked thanked Rose for 'making all his dreams come true' in a gushing speech.
"You became the best dancer, the best teammate. You are a dream Rose, thank you for everything," he told her. Rose has also made no secret of her fondness for Giovanni. In a tribute post on Instagram she told him: "@giovannipernice, I am so grateful that you were part of my strictly journey.
"Thank you for telling my story and showing everyone who I am. Our friendship is so special and lasting for sure," she vowed.
In August, EastEnders announced that Rose was leaving the soap after joining in 2020.
The Strictly legend, who played Frankie Lewis, 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.
Speaking about leaving, the actress said: "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.
"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."
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