rachel riley and pasha kovalev at awards

Countdown's Rachel Riley responds to trolls who called her a Strictly 'curse'

The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant is dating Pasha Kovalev

Ainhoa Barcelona

Rachel Riley has taken on a troll who called her "shallow" and branded her a Strictly "curse" on Twitter. The Countdown star retweeted the message and replied "What a charmer" alongside a heart emoji. Her legion of fans were quick to support the maths whizz, with one writing: "99% of the public love you for you as you are. Bright, funny and gorgeous. Ignore the haters! X." Another joked, "I bet you're losing sleep over this numpty" while a third commented: "There is no need for personal insults and Strictly has nothing to do with the topic being discussed."

Rachel became the victim of online abuse after she tweeted her criticism of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, although the insults turned personal when her stint on Strictly became the focus. Rachel competed on the BBC One dance show in 2013 and started dating her dance partner Pasha Kovalev after she was eliminated.

Rachel and Pasha were paired on Strictly together in 2013

The TV star, 32, was previously married to her university sweetheart Jamie Gilbert, who she met while studying at the University of Oxford. The couple tied the knot in 2012 but announced their separation in November 2013, around the same time that Rachel left Strictly. The blonde brainbox has always insisted that Pasha was not the reason for their split.

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A look back at Rachel on Strictly:

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Speaking about her relationship with the dancer, Rachel, who lives with Pasha in London, previously told HELLO!: "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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Rachel has also previously revealed that she is learning Russian to help her communicate with her boyfriend's family. She told the 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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