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Strictly’s Giovanni on impact of silent dance moment with Rose Ayling-Ellis

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice danced in silence for part of one of their performances on Strictly (BBC/PA)
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice danced in silence for part of one of their performances on Strictly (BBC/PA)

Strictly Come Dancing professional Giovanni Pernice has said the reaction to the silent moment in his routine with Rose Ayling-Ellis on the dancing show has been bigger than they had anticipated.

EastEnders actress Ayling-Ellis, 27, became the first deaf contestant to win Strictly alongside professional dance partner Pernice last year, and their routine – during which they paused the music and danced in silence as a tribute to the deaf community – is among six nominees for Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment Award at the upcoming Bafta TV ceremony.

The award, which is the only one voted for by the public, celebrates the diversity of British TV and the moments that got our nation talking, tweeting and laughing in 2021.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Pernice said: “The feeling in the room was just outstanding, it was more than just a dance, it was more than just 16 seconds of silence.

“For us it was more, show what Rose feels every single week and I think since we did that moment, I think people realised how difficult it was for Rose dancing and… so it was very special.”

Asked about the impact of their dance, he told Dan Walker and Sally Nugent: “I knew it was going to be an important dance for Rose, for the deaf community, but the reaction has been bigger than what we thought.”

Also nominated in the must-see moment category is Adele’s on-screen reunion with the teacher that changed her life during ITV’s An Audience With Adele – which aired in November last year.

The singer was surprised on stage by Ms McDonald, from Chestnut Grove School in Balham, who taught her before she moved to the prestigious Brit School as a teenager.

Graham Norton Show – London
Adele’s reunion with her old school teacher is among the nominees (Matt Crossick/PA)

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! has also been nominated for the moment presenting duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly had a dig at alleged lockdown-busting parties held in Downing Street.

During an episode of the jungle reality show, the pair jokingly referenced alleged breaches of Covid regulations, saying the show’s contestants “categorically deny” any suggestion they had a party in the Welsh castle where the show takes place.

They added: “And this fictional party definitely didn’t involve cheese and wine, or a Secret Santa.”

Donnelly then looked directly into the camera and said: “Evening Prime Minister… for now.”

Netflix has received a nomination for the gruesome red light, green light game featured in episode one of hit South Korean series Squid Game.

Colin’s devastating Aids diagnosis in Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin and Bimini Bon Boulash’s verse in the Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK performance of UK Hun? on BBC Three complete the list of nominees.

I’m A Celebrity� Get Me Out Of Here!
Ant and Dec were nominated for their jibe at the Prime Minister on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here (ITV/PA)

Sara Putt, chair of Bafta’s Television Committee, said: “We are delighted to be revealing the six moments which truly showcase the very best and most talked about programmes of 2021, demonstrating what Bafta is about: excellence and inspiration.

“Television in 2021 highlighted the importance and power of entertainment. From heart-warming moments to raising awareness of hugely important issues, the shows and moments nominated for Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment Award 2022 reflect our TV habits of the last year and perfectly celebrate the relationship between TV viewers and the people who make it.

“I am so excited to see what the public choose to be their Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment winner, in what is sure to be a close contest.”

Voting for the winner of the award is open now until 5pm on April 19, and fans can vote at www.virginmedia.com/bafta.

The winner will be announced at the Virgin Media Bafta TV Awards on May 8.

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