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Exclusive: Rachel Riley reveals how mini-me daughter is both like her mum and dad

The Countdown star shares daughters Maven and Noa with husband Pasha Kovalev


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Megan Bull
TV Writer
Updated: 1 August 2023
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Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev first crossed paths on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 but they came from entirely different worlds. While Rachel, 37, is a mathematician famed for her impressive calculations on Countdown, Pasha, 43, has trained as a professional dancer with appearances on Strictly and Dancing with the Stars under his belt. 

Rachel Riley with Pasha Kovalev holding young girl© Instagram
Rachel and Pasha with their daughter Maven

Adorably, after welcoming their two children – Maven, three, and baby Noa – it looks as though Rachel and Pasha's daughters are already following in their parent's footsteps. Chatting exclusively to HELLO!, Rachel revealed that Maven, in particular, has a combined love of maths and dance. 

"My three-year-old is literally asking for maths videos for kids on YouTube," she said.  "There's one that's a dance with numbers up to 100. And she's looking for numbers on the side of the road, like the speed signs or the road signs and she's shouting the numbers out, you know, getting excited about it and counting. Even the baby's going '1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11'. 

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"They're both really active. My three-year-old's riding a bike and she [was] on a balance bike and a scooter this week. It's just going before my eyes. But it's fun watching their little personalities and letting them try stuff, but just keeping them out of the road!"

As for the kinds of role models she'd love to introduce to her daughters to, Rachel said: "I think when the time comes it'll definitely be mathematicians and people like Hannah Fry. I've done events with Hannah and she's a proper mathematician and she enthuses girls and tells them how mathematicians use maths to solve burglaries or help people escape fire alarms."

Maven riding a bike© Instagram
Maven is already passionate about maths and dance

"They're, you know, one and three. So whatever they're going to end up doing in their lives won't probably even exist yet. Horizons open." 

WATCH: Rachel Riley's daughter Maven takes after dad Pasha Kovalev

The next few months are set to be busy for the family as Rachel's husband Pasha prepares to tour with La Bamba.  

Asked about the family's upcoming summer plans, Rachel explained: "Hopefully I'll get to take them to see their daddy on stage. We took them to Trafalgar Square to see West End live when he was dancing on Father's Day, and they're like, 'Ooh yeah, when are we gonna see daddy dancing?'"

Pasha Kovalev with his daughters© Instagram
Maven and Noa love watching Pasha perform on stage

Clearly, Maven has already caught the dancing bug, and she loves to dance around with her friends, in particular James and Ola Jordan's little girl, Ella. 

"Ella – I think she's a couple of months younger than Maven," Rachel explained. "I think she may be three months younger than Maven. And it's interesting again with different personalities because Ella's there, and with the camera, she's just like, 'Hi' whereas Maven's like 'I'll do everything, but the camera's there now so I'm gonna stop'.

Rachel and Pasha with Strictly stars Ola and James Jordan© Getty
Rachel and Pasha with Strictly stars Ola and James Jordan

Rachel continued: "It's interesting, [those] different personalities but I think they both like dancing and they just chase each other around and have a great time. But I don't know if either of them has got any concept of what their parents do!" 

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