Strictly’s silent dance wins Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment award

Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
9 May 2022

It’s official, Rose and Giovanni’s emotional silent dance to Symphony on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing was the must-see moment on television last year. 

The dancing partners were presented with the Virgin Media Must-See Moment at the 2022 Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards by Rochelle Humes and Clara Amfo.

The winning moment, from an episode of Strictly Come Dancing, had more than 10 million views and has since received 2.1 million views on YouTube, making it one of the show’s most-watched performances.

The performance showed the power of television, driving conversation and creating awareness of the D/deaf community, as well as real change by helping to pass the bill to make British Sign Language an official language this year.

Rose and Giovanni thanked the British public in their powerful acceptance speech.

Rose said: “Thank you to every single person who has voted for us. It’s a very special moment for us and hopefully, it’s shown how powerful TV can be, where actually it can influence and change things. It’s even helped with BSL and made people stand up more for British sign language. And just better deaf awareness and positive attitude towards people. We’ve still got a long way to go but it’s such a great start.”

Giovanni added: “When we first had the idea to put the song into the dance we knew it would have an impact but this is bigger than we thought. This is changing people’s lives. Thank you to everyone who voted for us, as it means you’re ready for a change.”

Rose and Giovanni made the world stop and watch as they were invited into Rose’s world. The performance raised awareness of the experiences of the D/deaf community and created wider conversations around the lack of accessibility and representation for D/deaf people. It also inspired many young D/deaf dancers to take up or reignite their passion for the performing arts.

This moment perfectly embodies what Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment award is all about – celebrating the diversity of British TV, the moments that get the public talking, tweeting, laughing and so much more.

David Bouchier, Chief TV & Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said: “British television has the power to connect our nation and this winning Virgin Media Must-See Moment in Strictly Come Dancing really resonated with the British public. Its creative expression and emotion made us all stop and think about the challenges Rose had to overcome to win Strictly. 2021 was another stand-out year in television and the variety of nominees for this year’s Virgin Media Must-See Moment award celebrated TV for everyone from comedy and drama to reality and fantasy. It’s fantastic to have such a powerful message win our award, it truly was a stand-out TV moment from 2021.”

Sara Putt, BAFTA Deputy Chair and Chair of BAFTA’s Television Committee, added: “Congratulations to Rose Ayling-Ellis, Giovanni Pernice and the Strictly Come Dancing team on their win for Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment award. Not only did they win the heart of the nation, their moment has led to visible change demonstrating the power of TV. The public had a difficult choice on their hands with such a breadth of nominations, across different genres of television that kept the nation captivated. As always it’s a brilliant way to make sure audiences at home are even closer to the action and are a part of the excitement that is the Virgin Media TV BAFTAs.”