Holly Willoughby Faces Backlash After Making ‘Insensitive’ Comment To Rose Ayling-Ellis

Holly Willoughby is facing a backlash after making an 'insensitive' comment to Rose Ayling-Ellis on This Morning. 
Credit: ITV
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Holly Willoughby is facing a backlash after making an ‘insensitive’ comment to Rose Ayling-Ellis, who is deaf, on This Morning

The Strictly Come Dancing champion appeared on the ITV programme on Tuesday morning, alongside Giovanni Pernice, to talk about their history-making win when the incident took place.

Minutes into the interview, Willoughby brought up the pair’s most iconic dance routine – which involved a ‘silent moment’ – and asked how they plan to perform it on the Strictly tour.

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Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis.
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield interviewed Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis on This Morning. Credit: ITV

Describing how people will react, Willoughby said: “Listen, you won’t be able to hear a pin drop in the arena at that moment. It was a bit of magic on TV actually.”

However, it didn’t go down well.

One person tweeted: “Dear lord, Holly saying ‘You won’t be able to hear a pin drop’ to the gorgeous Rose, who is profoundly deaf, about their Strictly tour!! OMG!!!! Not great presenting!! Embarrassing.”

Another added: “Even flippant comments can be insensitive. It’s like a put down after all Rose has achieved!”

“Of course, she can’t hear a pin drop @hollywills,” a third person said.

Chiming in, a fourth commented: “Well that was awkward Holly, telling Rose she won’t be able to hear a pin drop in the audience.”

Others took to social media and also blasted ITV for not highlighting Ayling-Ellis’ use of sign language throughout the interview.

Fuming, one person wrote: “Please show Rose’s hands so that deaf people can see what she is saying!”

In the interview itself, the EastEnders star said she wants sign language to ‘officially’ be recognised as a language.

She explained: “It’s been recognised as a language, but it’s not been official. That becomes such a big problem… sign language needs to be more appreciated… It’s got such a rich history.”

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