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Strictly star Pasha Kovalev pictured for first time since baby announcement

What an exciting time for Pasha and girlfriend Rachel Riley!

Hanna Fillingham

On Friday evening, Countdown presenter Rachel Riley announced the exciting news that she was expecting her first baby with Strictly Come Dancing star Pasha Kovalev. And while many of Pasha's Strictly co-stars have been quick to send messages of congratulations to the couple, Pasha has kept a low profile. However, on Sunday, the dad-to-be was pictured for the first time since the news broke, and he looked a picture of happiness! The professional dancer is currently embarking on his final ever Strictly Come Dancing tour with many of the other pros from the show, and was captured on camera as he enjoyed brunch with them all. The photo was uploaded onto Karen Clifton's Instagram Stories, and she simply titled it: "Sunday brunch."

Strictly star Pasha Kovalev pictured following Rachel Riley's baby announcement

Rachel announced her pregnancy in the most apt way. The TV presenter posted a picture on Instagram of herself cradling her baby bump, and posed in front of the famous Countdown board with the letters spelling out 'R TINY MATE', which is an anagram of the word 'maternity'. She captioned it: "Pash and I have a conundrum for you. You have till December to work it out! We're over the moon excited."

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Watch the Strictly pros saying goodbye to Pasha

Rachel and Pasha met when they were partnered on the 2013 series of the BBC contest. They started dating in 2014, after Rachel split from husband Jamie Gilbert the previous year. Last month Rachel opened up about the demise of her marriage to Jamie, her high school sweetheart, revealing Strictly was not the reason for the split – although, her filming commitment gave them some distance. "At that time, I was doing Countdown and The Gadget Show, so I was living in Essex," she told GQ. "I was filming in Birmingham and in Salford, and then filming Strictly in Borehamwood, with a bit of It Takes Two in London. I was getting three hours' sleep a night, trying to fit in all these things." She added: "All you want to do at that time is the dancing because you know you’ve got to do this thing in a few days," she added.

Pasha and Rachel met in 2003 on Strictly

When asked if Strictly had contributed to the split, Rachel replied: "No. I'm still friends with my ex-husband. He's great, he's a brilliant guy." She added: "We were together since I was 19 and it wasn't right… What Strictly did give me was distance - because I was away from home in Birmingham, Salford, Borehamwood. It was the emotional distance that I needed to break away."

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