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Rachel Riley talks dancing and boyfriend Pasha Kovalev

June 4, 2015
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Rachel and Pasha met while filming the eleventh series of Strictly when they were paired up as a duo, and their romance blossomed shortly after the Countdown presenter was eliminated from the show.

rachel riley1 © Photo: Rex

"Pasha and I are both quite chilled and quite independent," said Rachel

"Spare time with Pasha is an oxymoron!" laughed Rachel, speaking to HELLO! Online. "He's had 78 dates around the country and it always seems to be his day off when I'm filming something up in Manchester. When we do get some time off we just chill – go out for dinner or watch a film."

A recent outing took Rachel, 29, to Blackpool where she joined her Russian boyfriend on a night out with his dancing team.

"Our schedules don't cross so when we do see each other it's planned," said Rachel. "Pasha had a day off so we went to Blackpool with four of his dancers and went to a gay club. I did the waltz with him and did lifts with another dancer and he was spinning me upside down. It was really fun but it's just silly dancing! At one stage I was choreographing him with zumba moves."

rachel riley2 © Photo: Getty Images

"Spare time with Pasha is an oxymoron!" said Rachel, of her dancer boyfriend who is currently on tour

"You don't really learn how to dance from Strictly," she added. "You learn how to do a specific dance. I was doing Countdown and The Gadget Show at the same time so you're just trying to get through each week. You never learn a dance properly but some things have stuck like the waltz because I had three weeks to learn that."

"It's nice to have a man that can lead," said the presenter.

Rachel, who was previously married to fellow University of Oxford student Jamie Gilbert, also opened up about what makes her and Pasha, 35, tick.

"I think it's up to the individual couple," she said. "You have to work out what's good for you. I think talking is good. Pasha and I are both quite chilled and quite independent. We can go off and do our own things but then we also really look forward to seeing each other when we get the chance."

rachel riley3 © Photo: Getty Images

The Oral-B ambassador admitted: "I used to be paranoid about my teeth when I was younger" 

The pretty TV star was speaking in her role as an ambassador for Oral-B, the sponsor of National Smile Month, and Rachel admitted that having a job in the spotlight has only made her more conscious about her smile.

"I used to be paranoid about my teeth when I was younger, and when I got my job at Countdown the first photoshoot I had I wasn't smiling with my teeth out," said Rachel. "So I had my teeth whitened and felt much more confident about smiling but they'd get quite sensitive. I switched to using an Oral-B electric toothbrush and toothpaste and my teeth felt so much cleaner."

"It costs nothing to smile," the English Rose added. "The act of smiling makes you feel better and produces happy hormones. I'm naturally a smiley person anyway but smiling makes other people feel better."

For more information see Oral-B's Facebook page (

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