lydia bright at her gender reveal party

Lydia Bright exclusively reveals gender of her baby – watch video

The former TOWIE star is expecting her first child

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Lydia Bright was in the pink last week as the thrilled mum-to-be revealed exclusively to HELLO! she's expecting a baby GIRL! Lydia shared her happy news at a gender-reveal party held in her parents' Essex garden, in front of friends including Denise van Outen and fitness entrepreneur Lucy Mecklenburgh, also pregnant with her first child.

WATCH: The adorable moment Lydia Bright discovers she's having a girl

"Oh my gosh it's so exciting, I've just found out I'm having a little girl!" the former The Only Way Is Essex star told HELLO!, who were on hand to capture the moment that her guests found out, with family members answering questions to reveal the code for a padlock on a chest full of pink helium balloons.

Lydia looked gorgeous and glowing in her Alice McCall dress, which we've found on the Outnet for £234. 

SHOP: Alice McCall tulle midi dress, £234, The Outnet

"I wasn't bothered either way, girl or boy, but I do think that now I know it's a girl it's that little bit more special. She'll be my best friend. Me and Mum are really close and I love our relationship – I'm hoping that me and my daughter have something just as special, just as strong."

The moment the pink balloons came floating up from the chest, the party erupted. Mum Debbie Douglas – who the week before had tied the knot with Dave, her partner of 40 years, and held their reception in the same spot – jumped up and down with her arms in the air, as Lydia got cuddles from her nan, then congratulations and hugs from everybody else.

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Jessica Wright was among the celebrity guests

"Today has been amazing and it has made it so worthwhile not looking [at the gender before now]," says Lydia, who announced last month that she had split from the baby's father. "I've had that envelope in my house since Wednesday. It was staring and screaming at me to open it but I didn't – I held out! It was worth it and I'm so glad. To share this with my friends and family and to get that reaction off everyone makes it all the more exciting. And the sun's out. It's going to be a happy, sunny baby."

Guests were treated to a feast, with a table the length of the marquee overflowing with food including a wheel of vegan cheese adorned with figs and tropical fruits, cold cuts, falafel, olives and hummus. A white A-frame decorated with pink, white and blue flowers held mini cheesecakes topped with pink and blue fruits, and buckets of ice contained fizz and beer for the grown-ups.

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Now preparations can get fully under way for the baby's arrival. And Lydia, 29, who is in the middle of an extension and renovation project on her home, knows just how to decorate the nursery. "I can't wait to decorate her room," she enthuses. "The boy's room would have been lovely, but the girl's room, I'll make it all pink, a proper princess… I don't care if it's tacky. My kid is definitely not going to be gender neutral. I'm having tutus, flowery dresses… I want my girl to be very, very girly."

One thing she hasn't decided on is the name. "I had a boy name set, one hundred per cent. For girls I've got a list but there's nothing I'm really concrete about." She beams. "But I've still got five months to figure out what name I'm going to give her."

Lydia with her TOWIE friend Georgia Kousoulou

Earlier this month, Lydia revealed that she had been given her baby's gender by the doctors. The envelope had the words "Do not open" etched on the front. She filmed an Instagram video, telling fans: "So we are en route to find out the sex of my baby. Basically what we're doing is we're going to the gender scan, and she's going to put it in an envelope and I'm going to find out on the weekend at my gender reveal party. I don't know how I'm not going to peek at that envelope. We're gonna have to hide it. I'm so excited!"

In August, the mum-to-be exclusively announced her pregnancy joy in HELLO! while also revealing that she and her boyfriend Lee Cronin, the father of her baby, had split up. "It's not the ideal situation. I waited quite a long time to try for a baby, waited until I thought it was perfect. I've always wanted the fairytale. And it's obviously not worked out exactly how I wanted," she said, adding: "I'm not closing the door on it completely, but I feel like I just keep getting knocked back. I can't beg somebody to be with me, and I can't beg somebody to love me."

But beaming with excitement, Lydia added: "I've done so much travelling, I've done all my partying holidays, I'm where I want to be in terms of my life, financially and career-wise. It just feels like the right time for it all to happen for me."

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