‘She’s so beautiful’ John Whaite on why Rose Ayling-Ellis ‘had to win’ Strictly

Strictly: Giovanni tells Rose ‘I love you’ after win

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John Whaite, 32, has opened up about Rose Ayling-Ellis in a candid interview this week. John confessed that despite competing against the actress in the Strictly Come Dancing finale, he knew Rose “had to win” because she has “done so much”.

John made the admission on the That Gaby Roslin Podcast when the former Big Breakfast host highlighted the power of Rose and Giovanni Pernice’s silent Couple’s Choice routine.

Gaby said: “Rose and Giovanni were beautiful together. Now people are going into Parliament and talking about BSL [British Sign Language]. And that silent dance!… The power of dance.”

John agreed with the presenter and gushed that Rose is “remarkable”.

He exclaimed: “It sends tremors through the entire earth to think that two people can do that on television and it can send those massive shock waves through the entire world.

“It’s so beautiful, it’s just so reassuring to think that we have family here in a world where we can do that.”

John then recalled an emotional conversation he had with Rose just before the Strictly finale in December.

The baker said he was doing his best to use sign language and Rose was lip-reading, and then he had a revelation.

He revealed that Rose told him 20 years ago a “girl like her” would probably not have been able to get a job, let alone act in EastEnders or perform on Strictly.

The Great British Bake Off winner continued: “I realised then that she had to win. She had to win it.

“What she has done has disjointed a stereotype, she has completely shattered an illusion of what people thought being deaf was about.

“I think if I had gotten the Glitterball, I think I would have thrown it her way and said, ‘This is yours love’.

“She has done so much and she’s so beautiful and kind.”

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John and Rose are currently performing across the country with the cast of the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour.

As they wrap up their final week on the road, the stars will perform in Nottingham and finish at London’s O2 Arena on Sunday.

On Monday, there were fears John may have to pull out of the remaining shows after he tested positive for Covid on a lateral flow test.

Thankfully, a PCR came back negative, and he was able to get back on stage with his dance partner, Johannes Radebe.

The baker shared the happy news via his Instagram story.

He told his 310,000 followers: “PCR came back negative, so I’ll be back on stage tonight in Glasgow,” with three red heart emojis.

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