Strictly Come Dancing champion Rose Ayling-Ellis will make her CBeebies’ story corner debut this Sunday, the first time a BSL-signed story has ever appeared on the programme.

Marking the end of Deaf Awareness Week, Rose will be signing Can Bears Ski, the debut children’s book by Ted Hughes award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus, illustrated by Polly Dunbar. The story draws on the author’s own experiences of navigating a hearing world as a deaf person, following a young bear who is learning to find his place in the world with the help of his father.

Rose said: “I am super excited to read my first CBeebies Bedtime Story in British Sign Language and it’s even more wonderful to share a story written by a deaf writer. I hope deaf children enjoy the story and it inspires hearing children to want to learn BSL more!”

The broadcast will be completely in BSL, with Rose only speaking to introduce the story and say goodnight to the audience once it is complete. The first of two stories she has recorded for the programme, the broadcast will also feature subtitles.

It’s been a hugely successful year for Rose, who won the 19th series of Strictly Come Dancing with dance partner Giovanni Pernice. The pair also bagged a Bafta nomination for this year’s must-see moment – voted for by the public – for their stunning dance tribute to the D/deaf community on the show, which saw them pause the music in their routine and dance in silence. Rose has also campaigned for BSL to be awarded legal recognition by the Government, which is set to go ahead after MPs backed the proposal in March.

CBeebies Bedtime Story is broadcast daily at 6.50pm, and is available on-demand on BBC iPlayer. Episodes airing on a Saturday and Sunday feature a BSL interpreter.

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