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Rachel Riley mourns beloved family member in touching post

The Countdown presenter is married to Strictly's Pasha Kovalev

rachel riley
Phoebe Tatham
Content Writer
15 March 2023
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Rachel Riley penned a heartfelt tribute on Tuesday in honour of her late grandfather.

Taking to Instagram, the former Strictly Come Dancing contestant shared a touching throwback photograph of herself with her beloved "Zada." Rachel looked unrecognisable in the sweet snap sporting a platinum blonde bob and a blunt fringe.

"10 years since we lost the most bonkers member of my family, my Zada," Rachel gushed in her caption.

EXCLUSIVE: Rachel Riley reveals daughter's sweet reaction to welcoming Ukrainian refugees into home

"He loved Strictly and was proud of his Ukrainian (then Russian) heritage, he would have loved Pasha and girls, I'll always be sad he never got to meet them. Gone but never forgotten. [heartbroken emoji]".

It's not hard to see why Rachel thinks her "Zada" would have loved her children. Take a look at the video below to see Rachel's two adorable daughters in action... 

WATCH: Rachel Riley shares sweet video of daughters - and fans can't believe how much they've grown!

Fans and friends were quick to share their condolences, with one writing: "Grandfathers are the best [red heart emoji] Such a special relationship," while a second chimed in: "It will always hurt a bit, despite time passing."

View post on Instagram

Rachel penned a tribute

"Always makes me sad when grandparents don't meet their grandchildren," noted a third, and a fourth shared: "Cherish the memories, while making new ones."

Rachel's emotional update comes after the doting mother-of-two sparked a sweet fan reaction alongside daughter Noa. Back in February, the presenting whizz shared the most adorable snapshot of her youngest making a brief cameo appearance on the set of Countdown.

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In her caption, she penned: "That's the next host of Countdown sorted! Thankfully she can't reach the tiles, so my job is safe for now."

rachel riley noa

The star is a busy mum-of-two

Fans and friends raced to heap praise on the mother-daughter duo, with one writing: "She is gorgeous bless her," whilst a second noted: "She's so like maven Rachel," followed by a red heart emoji.

Rachel shares little Noa with her husband, Pasha Kovalev. Aside from Noa, the couple are also doting parents to daughter Maven. After finding love on the set of Strictly Come Dancing, the lovebirds tied the knot in an intimate Las Vegas wedding ceremony on 28 June 2019.

rachel riley pasha red carpet

Rachel and Pasha met on Strictly

MORE: 10 rare photos of Rachel Riley's sweet daughters Maven and Noa

During her time on the show, Rachel announced her split from her husband, Jamie Gilbert – her high school sweetheart whom she divorced in 2013.

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