Eastenders star Rose Ayling-Ellis is leaving the show, after two years of playing Frankie Lewis on the popular soap.

The actress, 27, won Strictly's glitterball trophy last year alongside professional partner Giovanni Pernice, marking a historic win on the BBC One show as she became the first deaf contestant to take part.

Rose Ayling-Ellis won Strictly with Giovanni Pernice last year

Speaking about her departure, Ayling-Ellis, who joined the popular soap as Frankie Lewis in 2020, 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.

"I am excited for viewers to see Frankie’s exit storyline; I think it’s a really important one that will hit home for lots of people."

Frankie was first introduced as the long-lost daughter of Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) – but her arrival stirred up trauma for him.

Ayling-Ellis recently unveiled the world's first Barbie doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids.

Source: Press Association

EastEnders airs on RTÉ One and BBC One on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

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