She is the queen of Countdown and right now Rachel Riley is counting down to a very special date - the arrival of her first child. "I don’t think you can quite imagine what it’s going to be like until the baby arrives. It’s a whole new world, a whole new life," Rachel told HELLO! as she joined her husband, former Strictly Come Dancing professional Pasha Kovalev, at a gala fundraiser for international football charity Grassroot Soccer ahead of World Aids Day.
Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev are expecting their first child very soon
"I'm ready to pop so I’m glad that the baby is still inside and I can actually attend," the maths whizz, looking blooming in a metallic gown by Needle & Thread, told us at the engagement, her last before the baby arrives. "I'm just going to enjoy the evening with Pasha."
It’s been a busy few months for Rachel, 33, and 39-year-old Pasha, who tied the knot in Las Vegas in June after meeting when paired together on the BBC’s hit show in 2013. "Pasha’s been home and looking after me and can’t make me enough cups of tea," Rachel said. "He’s gorgeous. He’s been so helpful with the pregnancy and so attentive and he is the best human ever. I love him. He’s brilliant."
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Despite the birth being merely days away, Rachel was determined to be at Lindley Hall in London in her role as a global ambassador for Grassroot Soccer, which she first got to know after attending a gala alongside David Beckham in 2017. "Grassroot Soccer harnesses the power of football to teach adolescents across Africa about the dangers of HIV and Aids and are all about empowering women with education," she said. "It ties in with everything I’m passionate about so it’s a really good fit."
Pasha told HELLO!: "Rachel is doing so much good work in different charitable organisations, in particular Grassroot Soccer. She always chooses the causes that mean the most and I’m looking forward to the future. We have our future arriving quite soon so we want to see a footballer or a dancer! I certainly want to see the world as a better place. What Grassroot Soccer does is very, very important for the future."
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