Ben Richards exclusively introduces miracle daughter Freja Amelie and announces new Hollyoaks role

Actor Ben Richards is used to playing high-profile characters in TV series such as The Bill, Holby City and Footballers' Wives, but one role he never expected to have in real life was that of father, after being told that his chances were virtually nil.

Now, in this week's HELLO!, he and TV presenter Kirsty Duffy introduce their newborn daughter Freja Amelie.

"To be honest, I am only just starting to get round to the idea that someone isn't going to say, 'Cut!' and take her from me," Ben tells the magazine. "Sometimes I think I'm just playing the role of dad and round the corner is the actual mum and dad waiting for the scene to finish. I'll have to say, 'Thanks, mate,' and give her back."

Ben and Kirsty present their miracle daughter Freja Amelie

Ben, 43, and 33-year-old Kirsty who co-presents The Wright Stuff, became parents on 31 March.

"She has had such a massive effect on our lives," says Kirsty of her baby girl. "Ben and I cannot believe you’re able to love someone so much. I love Ben to pieces, but this is a different love and my heart is bursting every time I look at her. I am so in love with this little thing."

Ben has battled bowel cancer, and doctors told him he would probably never have children.

Ben will soon hit screens in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks

During his 15-year marriage, which ended in 2012, he had also experienced the pain of losing seven babies, including two sets of twins, before full term due to a rare genetic disorder carried by both him and his then-wife. It is little wonder that he thought this moment would never come.

"For us it's a miracle. We love her and I'll do everything to protect her." As well as introducing his daughter in HELLO!, Ben shares news of another new role as he announces that will begin playing Sergeant Ben Bradley in Channel 4 drama Hollyoaks next month.

To read more of the interview with Ben, pick up the latest issue of HELLO!.

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