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Rachel Riley talks baby Maven's first birthday plans and desire for second child with Pasha Kovalev - exclusive

The Strictly couple welcomed little Maven on 15 December 2019

Sharnaz Shahid

Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev are celebrating their baby daughter's first birthday - and what a wonderful year it has been for the Strictly Come Dancing stars!

During an exclusive interview with HELLO!, the Countdown presenter reflected on the past 12 months and how precious their time as a family has been amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

READ: Rachel Riley reveals future aspirations for daughter Maven

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WATCH: Rachel Riley teaches maths in the most fun way possible

The couple - who secretly tied the knot in Las Vegas in June 2019 - became first-time parents in December last year, and there's no denying how much Pasha, 40, and Rachel, 34, have been relishing every moment with their baby girl.

MORE: Rachel Riley melts hearts with adorable photo of Pasha Kovalev kissing Maven

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"It's been gorgeous," gushed Rachel, when asked how it's been watching Pasha become a father. "My friends always said when you love someone and you see them with a child… he is just amazing with her.

"He's better with her than with me, I've got the secret weapon of boobs and he has to actually learn proper parenting. She loves him, he loves her. Even when looking at a picture of her, his face just lights up - it's gorgeous."

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Rachel and Pasha are celebrating Maven's first birthday

Despite the fact little Maven's first birthday celebrations will be relatively low-key, the parents are looking forward to spending quality time together.

"We're just going to take her out for lunch - nothing exciting at all because we can't," explained the mum-of-one. "We're going to go to my mum's for Christmas. Obviously, they are so close. She'll have a bit more time with her there where she can tear the place up, pull the baubles off the tree and terrorise the cat.

READ: Rachel Riley breaks her Twitter silence after important cause

GALLERY: Inside Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev's gorgeous family album

"So just a low-key birthday, she's already seen her present and has dragged it around the place so she's just going to enjoy playing with the boxes and unwrapping - like all children would when opening presents, I'm sure."

While, the couple - who met on Strictly Come Dancing back in 2013 - have their hands full being new parents, what does the future hold for the young family? Quizzed on baby number two, the mum-of-one replied: "Yeah, we definitely want another little person to have Maven be friends with. When that happens, that would be lovely."

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The Countdown star is one of the celebrities taking part in the Very Important Breakfast Clubs

Rachel is known for being the maths whizz on Channel 4's iconic game show, Countdown. She initially considered a career in marketing, before her mother encouraged her to audition for the daytime series.

When Countdown's original 'human calculator' Carol Vorderman retired from her role in 2008 after 26 years, Channel 4 began searching for an unknown host to replace her. Rachel, then 22, beat 1,000 other applicants to win the coveted role as resident maths guru.

MORE: Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev share stunning portraits with baby Maven

Nowadays, the TV star is keen to offer up her pearls of wisdom to the youth of today, often sharing fun online maths videos in a bid to inspire their fondness for the subject. She has teamed up with Amazon and free school meals charity Magic Breakfast to launch, Very Important Breakfast Clubs, where children at Magic Breakfast schools will be surprised with various celebrity teachers - including herself!

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The presenter enjoys inspiring young children

"They are celebrating giving over two million meals this year to children," explained Rachel. "They have done a very important breakfast club with a range of people to make their specialist subjects really exciting for children while they have a nice breakfast. So I was lucky to teach maths - I love going to schools and playing various math games. Incorporating games into learning and everyday life."

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On hoping to inspire school children, Rachel added: "I'm really keen to make maths and science really popular - especially for girls. I think having role models for children is a good thing. Often with maths, the stereotype is for an old man with a beard."

She continued: "Having a child makes you realise, well, you are going to be bringing them up. You're going to try and give them values and hope what they will turn into and what they aspire to. You've just got to walk the walk of who you want them to be and what they stand for."

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