Who is Rose Ayling-Ellis? Eastenders introduce first deaf character Frankie

NEW EastEnders cast member Rose Ayling-Ellis will make her debut TONIGHT (19 May, 2020).

The actress will play the BBC One soap’s first ever deaf character Frankie and bring about a big new storyline for Ben Mitchell as she helps him come to terms with his loss of hearing from the boat crash.

What do we know about EastEnders newcomer Frankie?

Tonight’s episode of EastEnders will see Callum catch newcomer Frankie shoplifting in the Square.

But when he tries to step in and tries to resolve the situation, he realises she’s deaf. 

Realising that his boyfriend could help, he asks Frankie to speak to him but Ben is less than impressed with the idea. 

Will Ben agree to communicate with Frankie?

What do we know about Ben Mitchell’s new big storyline in EastEnders?

EastEnders have confirmed that Frankie’s upcoming storylines will centre around Ben’s loss of hearing following the boat tragedy.

Fans will know that Ben has been partially deaf since childhood after he caught meningitis.

Viewers were left fearing that his deafness had worsened after he resurfaced from the Thames disorientated and was only able to hear ringing.

And it seems they were right – Ben was left with profound loss of hearing after sustaining a head injury during the crash and has been struggling to come to terms with it ever since. 

Viewers watched his devastation last night on the soap when the doctor postponed his hearing operation when he discovered he wasn’t feeling well. 

But Frankie’s arrival will help Ben cope with his hearing loss and turn a new corner. 

In a first for the soap, Frankie and Ben are going to communicate using sign language.

EastEnders have announced that they have worked closely with the National Deaf Children’s Society to make sure the storyline is accurate.

Soap writer Charlie Swinbourne pitched the idea for the storyline to EastEnders.

He said: “Being deaf myself I’ve always looked out for Ben Mitchell’s character because he was the one who wore hearing aids.

“I wanted to explore how losing more of his hearing affects Ben, as well as how it makes him see the world — and his deaf identity.”

What do fans think about the new storyline?

Fans have flocked to Twitter to express their excitement about the new storyline.

One fan tweeted: "I get some people might not like the deaf SL but I applaud #Eastenders for wanting to tell this story because it’s clearly important to them and trusting Max to tell it."

Another fan added: "Annoys me that people think Ben can’t be funny, or a smart ass or a bad boy character anymore if he’s hearing impaired. Having a disability or impairment doesn’t mean u change ur personality. He’s still the same person. Shows how important it is to bring awareness to it. #Ballum." (sic)

What do we know about Rose Ayling-Ellis?

EastEnders' newcomer Frankie will be played by deaf actress Rose Ayling-Ellis.

Rose has previously starred as Bianca Sinclair in Casualty and as Esther in Stephen Poliakoff’s drama Summer of Rockets.

The young star has also appeared in The Vamps music video Middle of the Night and played Kattrin in a modern adaptation of Mother Courage at the Royal exchange Theatre in Manchester.

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