Rose Ayling-Ellis to sign CBeebies Bedtime Story for Deaf Awareness Week

Rose Ayling-Ellis is set to sign the CBeebies Bedtime Story this Sunday. (BBC/PA)
Rose Ayling-Ellis is set to sign the CBeebies Bedtime Story this Sunday. (BBC/PA)

Rose Ayling-Ellis is set to sign a Bedtime Story for CBeebies on Sunday as part of Deaf Awareness Week.

The winner of Strictly Come Dancing and EastEnders star has spoken often about her hopes for more inclusion for the deaf community since winning the BBC One dance show and now deaf children will be able to tune in for a story with her.

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Kids' BBC channel CBeebies features a bedtime story each evening which is often read by a celebrity, with Tom Hardy, Kate Middleton and Reese Witherspoon all having featured before.

Ayling-Ellis is set to join the long list of famous readers, but in a first for the programme she will speak only to introduce the story and say goodnight, using British Sign Language to tell the story and with subtitles available.

Rose Ayling-Ellis attends the British Academy Television Craft Awards nominees party at Sea Containers London on April 21, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Rose Ayling-Ellis will present the first BSL story for the channel. (Getty Images)

She will be reading Can Bears Ski? written by Raymond Antrobus and illustrated by Polly Dunbar, the story of a bear and his dad learning how to manage deafness and which draws on Ayling-Ellis's own experiences of how isolating the hearing world can be for a deaf child.

The actor 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.

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

This is the first of two stories that Ayling-Ellis has recorded for CBeebies and will mark the end of Deaf Awareness Week.

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice dancing on Strictly
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice performed Strictly's first silent dance. (BBC)

On Saturdays and Sundays, a BSL interpreter usually signs the Bedtime Story, but this is the first time that BSL will take centre stage rather than appearing alongside it.

During her time on Strictly, Ayling-Ellis won praise for a silent dance that she performed with partner Giovanni Pernice to represent her own experiences of dancing as a deaf person.

Ayling-Ellis will read her Bedtime Story at 6.50pm on Sunday, 8 May on CBeebies and it will be available to view afterwards on iPlayer.

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