Strictly star Molly Rainford’s heartbreak after death of beloved family member

Molly Rainford has been left heartbroken following the death of her beloved cousin Ben, at just 38 years old.

Sharing the tragic news to her Instagram Story, the EastEnders actress and former Strictly star, 22, shared a photo of herself and Ben, to which she added the text: "Rest peacefully cousin Ben [white heart emoji] [angel emoji]"

Ben had suffered from cerebral palsy and epilepsy throughout his life, although Molly did not share his cause of death at this time.

He had lived at St Elizabeth's in Hertfordshire, a specialist school and residential centre, for which Molly had worked as an ambassador.

Molly shot to fame aged 11, after reaching the final of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012.

And then two years later, when she was just 14 years old, Molly bagged herself a role as a CBBC presenter on the children’s entertainment show, Friday Download.

Proving to be a hit with fans, she was offered a number of other roles with the broadcaster, including the lead role in Nova Jones, a series which focused on the life and adventures of a galactic pop singer.

And last year she reached the final of Strictly Come Dancing, after being paired with pro dancer Carlos Gu. Although she just missed out on taking home the coveted Glitterball trophy, she did come out of the show with a boyfriend, as she is now in a relationship with her former co-star Tyler West.

Following her time on Strictly, Molly joined the cast of the long-running BBC soap EastEnders, making her soap debut in June 2023.

Molly's character Anna has been involved in a number of dramatic storylines, including the revelation that her mother, Rose Knight, wasnone other than Cindy Beale.

Anna has recently found herself involved in something of a love triangle with Bobby Beale and Freddie Slater, the latter of which is played by this year's Strictly contestant Bobby Brazier.

However, Molly has since revealed that it's not her fellow soapstar that she's backing to win the show, revealing instead that she will be backing TV presenter Angela Scanlon, who is partnered up with Carlos.

During an appearance on Lorraine, Molly explained: "Obviously I've got to support the cast mates, but I'm team Gu forever now."

She went on to add: "I kind of feel like his partner is my partner."

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