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Emmerdale's Michelle Hardwick, 44, debuts baby bump as she announces surprise pregnancy

Fellow Emmerdale stars rushed to congratulate the couple

Nichola Murphy

Congratulations are in order for Emmerdale star Michelle Hardwick who gave fans a glimpse of her new bump after announcing she is expecting her first baby in October 2020. Posing alongside her wife Kate Brooks and their dog Fred, the 44-year-old actress wore a figure-hugging leopard print top that skimmed her blossoming bump which she cradled lovingly in the sweet Instagram snap. And judging by the huge grins on both Michelle and Kate's faces, they are absolutely thrilled to share the happy news amid the coronavirus lockdown. 

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Michelle showed off her blossoming bump on Instagram

Michelle simply captioned the photo: "Fred's big brother duties to commence in October #BabyBrooks." Her followers rushed to congratulate the pair on the surprise announcement, with Gemma Atkinson amongst the first to comment: "SO happy for you all!" Fellow Emmerdale star Anthony Quinlan - who plays Pete Barton - also wrote: "Congratulations guys! Such brilliant news!!! Absolutely buzzing for you both and Fred gets a little brother or sister." Meanwhile, Eastenders actress Emma Barton added: "Amazing & happy news. Congratulations to you both."

PHOTOS: The Emmerdale cast share their wedding and engagement photos

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The couple eloped in September 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee

The couple met while working together on the soap - with Michelle playing Vanessa Woodfield and Kate working as a producer - and announced in December 2018 that they were engaged. Although Michelle had revealed she and Kate were planning a low-key wedding abroad, followed by a party with their friends and family in the UK, they decided to elope in September 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee. Sharing a photo of herself and her bride both wearing white and standing in front of Elvis Presley’s former home, Graceland, Kate wrote: "In over 100 degrees heat, on Tuesday 10th September, I became Mrs Brooks."

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