Strictly Come Dancing Winner Rose Ayling-Ellis Developing Comedy-Drama About Deaf Women Dating In London

EXCLUSIVE: Rose Ayling-Ellis, the Strictly Come Dancing winner who is delivering this year’s Edinburgh TV Festival 2022 Alternative MacTaggart, is developing a comedy-drama about deaf women dating in London.

Ayling-Ellis, who remains the only deaf actor to be cast as regular in a soap, EastEnders, revealed the news to Deadline prior to her taking to the stage to deliver the MacTaggart on the final day of the Edinburgh TV Festival.

The as-yet-untitled  comedy-drama is based on Ayling-Ellis’ experiences of the deaf dating scene and she will also star in the show, while supervizing a disabled writers’ room.

She has had a whirlwind year, having won Strictly Come Dancing following a string of incredible performances that included her “silent dance” with partner Giovanni Pernice.

“This is something that hasn’t been spoken about,” Ayling-Ellis told Deadline. “We hear a lot about being female and how women appear in the dating scene but as a deaf woman, it’s a very different experience. It will be nice to share that story.”

Ayling-Ellis cited Michaela Coel’s Chewing Gum and Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love as inspirations.

She will be involved with the writing process but stressed that she won’t be the sole writer and is “engaging with some exciting writers.”

“There are so many different people in the show and I can’t speak on behalf of their experiences so I wanted a team that could put it all together. I won’t exactly be going to the countryside to spend months writing this.”

Representation and access will be key themes in her Alternative MacTaggart, a speech that has been delivered by the likes of Russell Brand and Jerry Springer in the past.

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