Rachel Riley

Countdown's Rachel Riley surprises fans with baby bump: see picture

Sharnaz Shahid

Rachel Riley has sparked pregnancy rumours after posting a hilarious picture on Instagram. The Countdown star, who is in a relationship with Strictly dancer Pasha Kovalev, shared the photo by way of saying goodbye to her colleague Lauren, who is going off on maternity leave. The snap sees the TV presenter parade a fake baby bump underneath a bright pink dress - revealed to be a cleverly disguised hot water bottle! In the caption, she wrote: "Can't believe it's the best makeup artist in the world's last day already! Good excuse though Lauren, I hope yours is as easy to remove as my hot water bottle bump."

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She added: "Bring baby Zlatan in as soon as he or she arrives, we're gonna miss you! #babybump #makeup #makeupartist #baby #mumtobe #countdown #channel4." Despite the joke, the snap had some of her fans confused with one commenting: "Jeez for one minute......" Another remarked: "You had me worried there @rachelrileyrr." The 31-year-old is in a relationship with professional dancer Pasha, 37. They met when they were paired together on Strictly in 2013, while Rachel was still married to her university sweetheart Jamie Gilbert, whom she wed in August 2012.

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Rachel Riley is in a relationship with Strictly dancer Pasha Kovalev

Following her appearance on Strictly, the TV star announced that she and Jamie were separating - although she has always insisted that Pasha was not the reason for their split. In March, Rachel revealed that she was learning Russian to help her communicate with her boyfriend's family. She told Daily Mail: "His mum doesn't speak English, and his brother isn't that confident speaking it - the first time I met them all I couldn't understand a word. It's a bit unnerving. But now when he Skypes his mother in Siberia I can say a few words, or work out what they're talking about."

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Speaking about her relationship with the dancer, Rachel - who lives with Pasha in London - previously told HELLO! Online: "I think it's up to the individual couple. 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."

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