Rose Ayling-Ellis becomes first celebrity to sign CBeebies Bedtime Story

Virgin Radio

5 May 2022, 12:04

Credit: Getty

Strictly Come Dancing winner and actress Rose Ayling-Ellis has made history once again as the first celebrity to sign a CBeebies bedtime story.

On Sunday (8 May), the Eastenders star will make her debut for the CBeebies story corner using British Sign Language to tell the tale of a young bear and his father on their journey to discovering and managing deafness.

The book, Can Bears Ski?, was written by Raymond Antrobus and illustrated by Polly Dunbar, and Rose signing the story on popular kids programme comes as a celebration of Deaf Awareness Week.

Antrobus’ book also draws on his own experience of being isolated as deaf child.

Ayling-Ellis first found fame for her role as Frankie Lewis on the BBC soap EastEnders. She then went on to become the first deaf contestant to compete in and win Strictly Come Dancing last year.

One of her most memorable performances on the show came when Rose and her partner Giovanni danced a routine in honour of the deaf community by pausing the music and dancing in silence.

The performance brought viewers to tears and it has been nominated for the Must See Moment of the Year at the BAFTA Awards this year.

Speaking about the opportunity to work with CBeebies, Rose said: "I am super excited to read my first CBeebies bedtime story in British Sign Language, and it's even more wonderful to share a story written by a deaf writer.

"I hope deaf children enjoy the story and it inspires hearing children to want to learn BSL more."

This will be the first ever BSL-signed CBeebies story, and Rose will speak only to introduce the story at the beginning and say goodnight to viewers at the end- everything else will be signed with subtitles for those who don’t use BSL.

Can Bears Ski? is the first of two stories the actress has recorded for the broadcaster after she has actively campaigned for BSL to become a recognised official language in the UK.

CBeebies Bedtime Stories airs daily 6.50pm, and Rose Ayling-Ellis’ first episode airs on 8 May.