‘Something special’ Former Strictly star pays tribute to Rose Ayling-Ellis: Inspiring

Strictly: Rose Ayling-Ellis explains why she loves ballroom

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Saturday night will see the three Strictly finalists take to the dancefloor in a final bid for their chance to win the Strictly Glitterball. Former Strictly star Dr Ranj competed on the show in 2018 and was partnered with professional dancer Janette Manrara. Lasting up until week six, Dr Ranj revealed his thoughts on this year’s contestants and reminisced over his time on the show before giving a tribute to deaf contestant Rose Ayling-Ellis.

Whilst speaking onset of The Weakest Link Strictly special, Dr Ranj revealed: “Oh wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could be in the final?

“Everyone is incredible, they are all great. If I had to really nit-pick, then my top three are John [Whaite] and Johannes [Radebe], obviously, because what they are doing is iconic, and they are absolutely brilliant.

“AJ [Odudu] and Kai [Widdrington], I think she’s awesome, and she’s a northern lass which I love, she is so down to earth, and she’s in there smashing it.”

Turning his attention to Rose, however, Rank admitted: “But I think Rose is just incredible. 

“To do what she has done, to come this far from someone who has never danced before, and do it all without even hearing a single note, to me that is something special.

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“I think she’s inspiring not just to deaf and hard of hearing people, but she’s inspiring to everybody else,” he revealed.

Speaking on his memories of the show, Dr Ranj graciously exclaimed: “My partner Janette [Manrara] is my loveliest and best memory we are still best mates!

“Although after today, I don’t know if she feels the same way” he joked as Janette appeared alongside Dr Ranj in the Weakest Link special. “It gave me a love of dance, and I’d never really danced before.

“I’d never done Latin or ballroom, so for me, it opened up this completely new world, which is still a part of my life now, and I absolutely love it.

“It gave me something really special – it gave me my confidence back,” he said.

On Saturday night, Rose and Giovanni Pernice and AJ and Kai were joint top of the leader board, both scoring 79 out of a possible 80.

John and Johannes scored 78 out of a possible 80, and Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu scored 74 out of a possible 80.

However, it was Rhys’ Strictly journey that came to an end as he faced John and Johannes in the dreaded dance-off and was eliminated from the competition.

The Strictly Come Dancing final airs this Saturday at 7pm on BBC One, where one of the three finalists will be crowned the ballroom champion.

The Weakest Link is set to return after nearly a decade away from viewers’ screens as BBC prepares for the reboot of the hit quiz show.

Anne Robinson previously fronted the show and was known for her ice-queen presenting style, but things will look slightly different when it makes its come back with a new host.

The Weakest Link’s new host Romesh Ranganathan has shared some exciting hints about the show’s return with Strictly Come Dancing and celebrity specials.

Speaking about appearing on the first episode, Dr Ranj said: “I’m a huge fan of the show, and I’ve watched it for years.

“I really wanted to take part, but there’s a part of me that is really nervous because I know how intense and pressurised it gets. So as long as I’m not out first round, I’ll be pretty proud of myself.”

Dr Ranj also revealed Strictly judge Anton du Beke is his biggest competition as he explained: “I think we both have this unspoken competition.

“A little bit of rivalry – friendly rivalry, of course – but I feel like maybe he and I are going to jostle a little a bit.

The Weakest Link returns on Saturday, December 18 at 6.10pm at BBC One before the Strictly Come Dancing final.

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