The Countdown star revealed the news with an adorable conundrum


Rachel Riley has announced she’s expecting her first child with her Strictly boyfriend Pasha Kovalev.

Rachel Riley

The Countdown star posted a picture of herself cradling her baby bump on Instagram in front of the famous Countdown board with letters ‘R TINY MATE’ – an anagram for maternity.

She captioned the picture: ‘Pash and I have a conundrum for you.

‘You have till December to work it out! We’re over the moon excited.’

Within a few hours the post had 18,000 likes and congratulations have been pouring in.

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Comedian and actress Sara Pascoe said: ‘Oh Rachel this is wonderful!!! Sending you so much love!’

While last year’s Strictly champ Stacey Dooley tweeted, ‘Congratulations.’

Pointless presenter Richard Osman posted the anagram “GANCINUORTSLAO!!!!!” in response to the star’s adorable conundrum.

Maths whizz Rachel and Pasha were partners in the 2013 series of Strictly Come Dancing – they started dating the following year after Rachel, 33, split from her husband Jamie Gilbert.

However, Rachel has always denied that the infamous Strictly Curse played a part in the break up.

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Nowhere to put my rainbow laces in my work gear so I’ve dug out my rainbow heels instead! My bit to show support for @stonewalluk’s #RainbowLaces campaign. This year is about encouraging the active ally. You don’t have to be a member of a group yourself to be a friend, to show solidarity and add your voice to theirs when it’s called for. Sport should be everyone’s game. From grassroots to Premier League. Lots of love to the LGBT and the whole rainbow community 🏳️‍🌈❤️🧡💛💚💙💜💖⚽️🏀🏈⚾️🎾🏐🏉🥏🏓🏸🏒🏑🥍🏏⛳️⛸🥊🥋🎽🎿🏳️‍🌈 #stonewall #kickitout #equality #rainbow #lgbt #lgbtq🌈 #loveislove #activeally

A post shared by Rachel Riley (@rachelrileyrr) on

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She told GQ at the time: ‘What Strictly did was give me distance – because I was away from home in Birmingham, Salford, Borehamwood – and it was the emotional distance that I needed to… break away.’

Pasha announced in February that he had decided to leave Strictly after eight ‘incredible years,’ telling fans that it was time for him to ‘find a new challenge’.

‘After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching 4 finals and lifting 1 glitter ball, it’s time for me to find a new challenge and so I’ve decided to make last year my final season on Strictly,’ he wrote on Twitter.

‘I’ve had 8 fantastic years, full of wonderful memories, thanks to the incredible partners, professionals and myriad of behind the scenes teams who all work to make Strictly the amazing production that it is.’