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Rachel Riley expecting first child with boyfriend Pasha Kovalev


rachel riley© Photo: Getty Images
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
May 24, 2019
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Rachel Riley has announced she is expecting her first child with former Strictly boyfriend Pasha Kovalev. The 33-year-old admitted she and Pasha are "over the moon" as she shared her happy news on her social media accounts on Friday. Sharing a photo of herself cradling her baby bump as she posed in front of the famous Countdown board, with the letters spelling out "R TINY MATE", which is an anagram of the word 'maternity', Rachel shared on Instagram: "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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Her followers rushed to offer their congratulations, including Pointless star Richard Osmon, who shared an anagram of "Congratulations" in reference to Countdown. Current Strictly champ Stacey Dooley commented with a string of heart and celebration emojis, and Angela Scanlon commented: "AMAZING congratulations xxx."

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Rachel and Pasha met when they were partnered in 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."

VIDEO: Rachel's birthday surprise from Pasha

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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. 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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