Strictly's Rose Ayling-Ellis says she's had the 'hardest year' as she turns 28

Rose Ayling-Ellis has shared a heartfelt post this weekend marking her 28th birthday, as she reflected on the ‘hardest year of my life’.

The former EastEnders star took to Instagram to share a couple of backstage photos of herself in a red corduroy dress, black tights and lace-up boots as she sipped on a can of coke.

The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 champion was backstage in dressing room six as she filmed an appearance on Channel 4’s The Last Leg, with presenter Adam Hills and co-hosts Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker.

Looking back on the last 12 months, which saw her shoot to stardom thanks to her inspiring appearance on Strictly, as well as being named part of this year’s Bafta Breakthrough cohort, the actress called events ‘mad’.

Next to the photos, she posted: ‘First day being 28 was on The Last Leg last night. Mad how my 27th has been the craziest, exciting, interesting, hardest year of my life.’

‘Forever grateful for all the love I’ve received. Thank you ❤️,’ she added.

There’s been plenty of movement in Rose’s professional life, with the star leaving her part as Frankie Lewis in EastEnders in September ahead of making her West End debut in a production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It next month.

However, the actress is also reported to have split with her boyfriend of seven years, Samuel Arnold, earlier this autumn.

It’s said that the pair amicably parted ways after spending a lot of time apart while Rose was on tour.

A source told The Sun: ‘Rose and Sam’s relationship is definitely over.

‘It’s very amicable and they’ll remain close friends, but unfortunately there is no future for them romantically.

‘They spent a lot of time apart while Rose was away on tour, which has had an impact.’

Sam is also deaf and largely keeps his life out of the public eye, although Rose has occasionally shared photos of him on her social media.

Last week, Rose marked the one-year anniversary of her groundbreaking silent routine with professional partner Giovanni Pernice.

On Twitter Rose shared a shot of her and Giovanni with a message that read: ‘One moment of silence can help a community feel heard,’ as fans flooded to share their appreciation in the comments.

The pair also won a Bafta TV Award back in May for their iconic routine.

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