Rose Ayling-Ellis is scheduled to leave EastEnders after two years.
The 27-year-old became the first deaf actress to play one of the regular characters on the long-running soap opera when she joined the series in 2020. She played the role of Frankie Lewis.
She has already filmed her last scenes for the series, which will not be broadcast until autumn.
Ahead of her departure, she said: “It was incredibly special to be there EastEnders‘ first regular deaf actor. I loved my time on the show and Frankie was such an amazing character, but now it feels like the right time for me to move on and I’m excited and ready for new challenges.
“I will always cherish my time on the show and all the incredible people I’ve worked with who have supported my growth as an actor over the past two years and brought me so many amazing memories.”
She added: “I look forward to viewers seeing Frankie’s exit storyline; I think it’s a really important issue that will affect a lot of people.”
Fans of the series have taken to social media to share their sadness at the actress’ departure, and to pay tribute to her accomplishment.
“Sad to hear the news from Rose Ayling-Ellis as Frankie Lewis is leaving #EastEnders soon,” one person wrote. “She was an actress extraordinaire who conveyed a lot of numb consciousness in her storylines… I hope she continues to have as brilliant and award-winning a career as she deserves.”
“Oh no seriously dear Frankie hope the door was left open,” wrote another. “@RoseAylingEllis is an amazing actress and wishes her every success in whatever she does next.”
“The world is at her feet now… An amazing woman who deserves all the best things in life,” commented another.
Last year, Ayling-Ellis took first place in the BBC reality series Be sure to come dance alongside pro partner Giovanni Pernice.
Ayling-Ellis was the first deaf contestant to enter the popular dance competition.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/rose-ayling-ellis-eastenders-strictly-come-dancing-b2147742.html Rose Ayling-Ellis: The winner of Strictly Come Dancing leaves EastEnders