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Saturday 11th July 2020

Rachel Riley welcomes her first child with former Strictly pro Pasha Kovalev

The pair met on Strictly in 2013

Countdown's Rachel Riley has announced the birth of her first child.

The 33-year-old presenter and her husband, former Strictly pro Pasha Kovalev, 39, have welcomed a little girl and the couple said they "couldn't be more in love".

In a post on Instagram, Rachel wrote: "2 weeks after we were expecting her this little one finally made an appearance!

"Miss Maven (one who understands) Aria (lioness) Riley Kovaleva arrived on Sunday morning weighing in at 7lbs 4."

Read more: Pregnant Countdown star Rachel Riley reveals her parenting fears

The new mum added: "After keeping us waiting she came so fast we didn’t get to hospital & was born in our bathroom with our amazing doula & wonderful St Mary’s midwives rushing over to be with us just in time!

"She’s absolutely perfect & Pasha & I are in newborn bliss. Couldn’t be more in love."

Rachel then shared a close-up shot of the adorable newborn alongside the caption: "Mave."

View this post on Instagram

Mave 💕💕💕

A post shared by Rachel Riley (@rachelrileyrr) on

Rachel announced she was pregnant back in May, when she shared the news with a sweet Countdown conundrum posted on Twitter.

The photo showed her cradling a small bump as she stood next to the iconic Countdown board, which bore the letters R-T-I-N-Y-M-A-T-E.

She wrote alongside the photo: "Pash and I have a conundrum for you... you have till December to work it out! We're over the moon excited."

Just a few months after announcing the pregnancy, Rachel and Pasha confirmed they had tied the knot.

The couple reportedly wanted to keep the ceremony low-key and even kept it from most of their close friends and family.

A source told The Sun: "They wanted to ensure it was just the two of them and everything was kept as quiet as possible.

"They did it in complete secrecy — even most of their friends and family had no idea they were going there to get married.

"By keeping everything a closely guarded secret, they pulled it off and surprised their loved ones. Naturally, everyone is delighted."

Rachel later revealed news of their nuptials on Twitter, sharing a photo of herself and Pasha, and captioning it: "Introducing the new Mr and Mrs Kovalev. We both said yes!"

Read more: Rachel Riley insists she will remain true to her promise following Jeremy Corbyn criticism backlash

The pair met when they were partnered on series 11 of BBC show Strictly Come Dancing in 2013.

They survived until week six, when they became the fifth pair eliminated from the competition.

The following year, Rachel and Pasha - who quit Strictly in 2019 - became romantically involved after she had separated from her husband of one year, Jamie Gilbert.

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