Rose Ayling-Ellis to deliver Alternative MacTaggart lecture at this year's Edinburgh TV Festival

The EastEnders star and Strictly champion is a pioneer for the deaf community and BSL campaigner.


In an uncompromising speech about her experiences as a deaf actress and, in a timely follow up to Jack Thorne’s blistering 2021 MacTaggart lecture, Rose Ayling-Ellis will be addressing the stark realities of life as a young person with disability in this industry.

Deaf since birth, Ayling-Ellis is best known for her acting work on stage and screen including her ground-breaking role as Frankie Lewis in EastEnders and as the first deaf contestant to take part in Strictly Come Dancing, which she won with professional partner, Giovanni Pernice, and received a TV BAFTA for her now iconic Couples Choice performance.


She is also the first person to sign a Bedtime Story on CBeebies and has successfully campaigned for BSL to be recognised as an official language in the UK.

Speaking ahead of this year's Edinburgh Television Festival which takes place from 24th August for three days, Rose Ayling-Ellis said "I am so excited to be delivering this year’s Alternative MacTaggart lecture. It is a privilege to be able to use my platform to raise awareness and understanding of the deaf community."


"It is vital that we keep talking about the realities faced by those with disabilities in the industry, and I am so thrilled to be given the opportunity to address these important issues at this year’s lecture."