Pregnant Rachel Riley and Strictly Come Dancing star Pasha Kovalev marry in secret Vegas wedding
1 July 2019, 06:48 | Updated: 1 July 2019, 08:06
The Countdown boffin and the Russian star met when they were paired up on the 2013 series of the BBC dancing competition.
Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev have married in a secret Las Vegas ceremony, six years after meeting on Strictly.
Rachel posted a photo of the couple standing next to an elaborate floral display with the caption: "Introducing the new Mr and Mrs Kovalev We both said yes! 👰🏼🤵🏻💍🥂💕🇺🇸🇬🇧."
Fans were quick to offer their congratulations - and a few familiar faces piped up too, including Strictly's Katya Jones, comedian Sarah Millican and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
Their wedding comes shortly after Rachel announced that the couple will welcome their their first child in December.
At the end of May Rachel posted a photo on social media showing her standing next to the famous Countdown anagram board with the word 'RTINYMATE', and cradling her belly.
She wrote: "Pash and I have a conundrum for you...you have till December to work it out! We’re over the moon excited."
The baby and marriage comes shortly after Pasha quit the BBC show.
In February The Sun reported that Rachel had been one of the main reasons for him walking away from the glitzy reality show, which sees celebrities paired with professional dancers and taught a series of increasingly tricky routines.
Rachel, 33, who was partnered with the Russian professional on the 2013 series of the BBC dancing show, apparently was fearful that they could fall foul of the infamous 'Strictly curse', that has seen scores of previously happy couples torn apart by the forced intimacy of the programme.
There was also the issue of money - Rachel simply didn't believe he was being paid enough.
In November last year, Rachel admitted that the curse weighs heavily on her mind when her boyfriend is at work, and she refuses to watch the show so she doesn't have to see him dancing with other women, with some of his sexier partners including Ashley Roberts and Caroline Flack.
She told the Radio Times: "It's left its mark. It just makes me feel nervous — so I make myself busy when it's on. I leave Pasha to it."
Rachel ended her 15-month marriage to millionaire James Gilbert there months in to her stint on Strictly, starting a new relationship with Pasha the following year.
Pasha, who specialises in Latin and ballroom dancing, announced his departure via Instagram.
In a statement he wrote: "After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching four finals and lifting the Glitter Ball, it’s time for me to find a new challenge so I’ve decided to make this my final season on Strictly.”