Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Newlyweds seen for the first time since secret Vegas wedding as pregnant Countdown star and Strictly pro jet back to London
- Rachel, 33, and Pasha, 39, jetted into London’s Heathrow airport on Monday following their Las Vegas wedding on Friday
- The pregnant Countdown star shocked fans when she announced the exciting news in an Instagram post on Sunday
- They kept the ceremony so secret that several friends and family members didn’t know about the wedding until afterwards
- The couple are expecting their first child together, due in December
- For her wedding day, Rachel looked radiant in a pink mini dress whilst Pasha made for a dapper groom in a navy blazer
- The Strictly Come Dancing stars first met in 2014 when they were partnered on the BBC competition series
- A year later, after Rachel ended her 16-month marriage to James Gilbert, the couple revealed they were in a relationship
Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev were pictured together for the first time on Monday after they secretly married in Las Vegas on Friday.
The newlyweds looked glowing and definitely appeared to be in the honeymoon stage as they cosied up to one another whilst strolling through London’s Heathrow airport as they headed home following their Stateside wedding.
Rachel, 33, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child, looked radiant in a billowing maxi dress that sheathed her blossoming baby bump, whilst new husband Pasha, 39, was the perfect gentleman as he wheeled their luggage along.
Newlyweds: Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev were pictured together for the first time on Monday after they secretly married in Las Vegas on Friday
Nailing airport chic, the Channel 4 star complemented her red striped number with a form-fitting cream cardigan, and boosted her physique in a pair of platform espadrilles.
The TV personality upped the style ante in the accessory department as she shielded her eyes in a pair of circular-framed shades.
With her tresses styled into a loosely-tousled updo, Rachel displayed her naturally radiant complexion as she went make-up free on arrival in the English capital.
Looking equally trendy, former Strictly pro Pasha donned a vibrant blue jumper, sporty shorts and a black denim jacket.
The Russian dancer opted for comfort with his choice of footwear as he wore a pair of grey trainers, finished off with square-framed sunglasses.
Look at her glow! Rachel, 33, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child, looked radiant in a billowing maxi dress that sheathed her blossoming baby bump
Standing tall: Nailing airport chic, the Channel 4 star complemented her red striped number with a form-fitting cream cardigan, and boosted her physique in a pair of platform espadrilles
Aww: Her new husband Pasha, 39, was the perfect gentleman as he wheeled their luggage along
Make-up free: Rachel displayed her naturally radiant complexion as she went make-up free on arrival in the English capital
Rachel and Pasha appeared to revel in newlywed bliss as they made a beaming appearance at the terminal following their secret wedding.
And on Monday, the pair’s close pal Ashley Roberts revealed the ballroom dancer lied about their wedding, and instead insisted the couple were just ‘going travelling’.
During an appearance on Heart Radio’s Breakfast Show with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden, the Pussycat Doll star, 37, said: ‘Pasha told me he was going on holiday… didn’t know it was to get married!’
Ashley, who was paired up with Pasha on last year’s edition of Strictly, added: ‘It was Ash and Pash – ‘Pashley. He came to the opening night of Waitress [Ashley’s new stage show] and said, “I’ve got to go off travelling.” Little did I know he was going off to get married.’
Over the weekend, the couple exchanged vows in Sin City after keeping the ceremony ‘so secret’ that the majority of their friends and family are said to have been unaware of the nuptials.
Brainbox Rachel confirmed the news with an Instagram post on Sunday as she shared a picture from their big day, captioned: ‘Introducing the new Mr and Mrs Kovalev… We both said yes!’
The TV star, who has just entered her second trimester of pregnancy, covered her baby bump in a printed cream and pink mini dress for the ceremony.
Giddy: She put on an animated display during her time in the terminal
Heading home: They shuffled with their tickets as they departed from the airport
The blonde beauty radiated with a healthy pregnancy glow that shone through her minimal make-up, whilst her glossy golden locks were styled in a chic chignon.
Rachel completed her bridal ensemble with a pair of nude court heels, whilst she clutched her bouquet of red and white roses.
Meanwhile, Pasha made for a dapper groom in a navy blazer teamed with a polka dot shirt, beige chinos, and boater shoes.
Newlyweds: Over the weekend, the couple exchanged vows in Sin City after keeping the ceremony ‘so secret’ that the majority of their friends and family are said to have been unaware of the nuptials
It’s official! The couple’s wedding certificate confirmed that they married on Friday. According to reports the pair kept the ceremony secret from friends and family
The couple appeared to be posing in the Wynn hotel, which offers three different floral-themed wedding ‘salons’ where guests can tie the knot, including the Lilac Salon, the Lavender Salon and Primrose Court.
The smallest of them all is the Lilac Salon, which accommodates 60 guests, which would prove perfect for intimate ceremonies.
For couples needing room for a larger group of well-wishers, the Lavender Salon seats up to 120 guests.
Meanwhile, the imposing Primrose Court – a private courtyard filled with perfectly manicured hedges and fauna – boasts space for up to 100 people.
Cute couple: The mathematician started dating Strictly professional Pasha when they met and were partnered on the show in 2013, going official with their romance in 2014
Congratulations: Within minutes of Rachel announcing her happy news, celebrity well-wishers – including Strictly’s Katya Jones and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor – left congratulatory messages
Wedding packages at the popular hotel and casino range from $1,790 for the most basic – though still lavish – of services, to an eye-watering $29,990 for the no-expense-spared Elegant Affair Ceremony.
The priciest of the wedding packages includes limo rides to and from the airport, a quartet to perform at the ceremony and a champagne toast for up to 50 guests.
Records show the couple got a marriage licence in Clark Country, Nevada, which includes Vegas, on June 25, marrying three days later.
Meanwhile, a source told The Sun of the couple’s nuptials: ‘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.
Ashley Roberts, who was partnered with Pasha for the 2018 series of Strictly told Heart Radio on Monday morning that she had no idea her friend had wedding plans when he supported her at her West End show opening last week.
‘He came to see the opening night of Waitress and told me he was going travelling Little did I know he was off to get married!’ Ashley said.
Mother-to-be: Rachel announced that she’s pregnant and expecting her first child with partner Pasha in a sweet Instagram post in May. The baby is due in December
‘By keeping everything a closely guarded secret, they pulled it off and surprised their loved ones. Naturally, everyone is delighted.’
Rachel and Pasha will welcome their first child together in December.
In May, Rachel announced her pregnancy by posing in front of a Countdown board of letters, which spelt out ‘r tiny mate’, which is an anagram for ‘maternity’, as she placed her hands on her blossoming baby bump.
She captioned the sweet snap: ‘Pash and I have a conundrum for you…you have till December to work it out! We’re over the moon excited.’
Working together: During an appearance on Celebrity Gogglebox with Pasha this month Rachel hinted she could be having a baby girl
During an appearance on Celebrity Gogglebox this month Rachel hinted she could be having a baby girl, after she ‘couldn’t see a penis’ in her latest scan.
After narrator Craig Cash introduced the news that they were expecting a baby, Rachel teased she could be expecting a girl following her most recent scan.
The numbers guru joked she ‘couldn’t see a penis’ in the ultrasound. Rachel then told Pasha: ‘But they said it was too early so I might just be insulting our son.’
Pasha and Rachel’s Strictly romance
Couple: Rachel, 33, shared a snap of herself and Pasha on his 39th birthday
Soon after her stint on the BBC talent show in 2013, Rachel split from her university beau husband Jamie Gilbert. They had been married for 16 months.
While there was no suggestion of any infidelity, Rachel admitted that Strictly may have contributed to her split from her husband.
She told MailOnline that being away from home, while training, gave her thinking space to consider her relationship, which was already in trouble.
Rachel, 33, said: ‘I was doing The Gadget Show on Channel 5. I was doing Countdown. Then Strictly. I was basically by myself for a few months, away from home.
‘It gave me the distance to work out what I wanted. There’s no doubt the timing contributed to the split, but I’m sure Strictly wasn’t the reason.’
Would the marriage have ended anyway? ‘Yes, it would have. It would just probably have been longer and more painful.’
Rachel began dating Pasha soon after and the pair have been loved-up ever since, moving into a London home together
While the pair rarely share details of their romance, Rachel admitted that she wasn’t looking for a relationship when she met the ballroom star in an interview with The Sun in 2018.
The mathematician divulged: ‘I can only speak for myself but if I had seen on paper that I would have ended up with a ballroom dancer from Russia – we didn’t even speak the same language growing up, I liked football and maths – it doesn’t really work.’
She continued: ‘But I guess it’s about personality and we just found we get on really well and we have a good relationship.’
Rachel, who is learning Russian, went on: ‘He didn’t go to uni, we didn’t watch any of the same programmes but were we have our differences…It’s interesting. You don’t need to like the same stuff.’
She also said: ‘His mum doesn’t speak English, and his brother isn’t that confident speaking it – the first time I met them alI couldn’t understand a word.
‘It’s a bit unnerving. But now when he Skypes his mother in Siberia I can say a few words, or work out what they’re talking about.’
Meanwhile, in 2018, the Oxford graduate shared she’s not quite ready to become a mother yet.
‘All my friends are getting pregnant at the moment. That’s good for them, but it’s currently not on my radar,’ she said in an exclusive interview in Mail on Sunday Event magazine.
The mathematician started dating Strictly professional Pasha when they met and were partnered on the show in 2013, going official with their romance in 2014.
Rachel ended her 16-month marriage to James Gilbert weeks after she was eliminated from series, they had met while studying at the University of Oxford.
In 2017 Rachel admitted she wasn’t looking to get married again, explaining: ‘I am in love now. I don’t feel I have to get married. I don’t think I need that pressure any more.’
‘I feel settled. I don’t feel the need to do it again. If I’m with someone and I’m happy, that’s enough.’
While the pair rarely share details of their romance, Rachel admitted that she wasn’t looking for a relationship when she met the ballroom star in an interview with The Sun in 2018.
Rachel divulged: ‘I can only speak for myself but if I had seen on paper that I would have ended up with a ballroom dancer from Russia – we didn’t even speak the same language growing up, I liked football and maths – it doesn’t really work.’
Unexpected: While the pair rarely share details of their romance, Rachel admitted that she wasn’t looking for a relationship when she met the ballroom star
Rachel, who was a recent Oxford graduate at the time, joined Countdown in 2008 after she took over from icon Carol Vorderman and was an instant hit with viewers after filling Carol’s very large shoes.
Meanwhile, Pasha made his name as a professional on Strictly Come Dancing, but quit after eight years to concentrate on a ‘new challenge’.
He tweeted in February this year: ‘After scoring 93 perfect tens, reaching 4 finals 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.’
Prior to this, Rachel had revealed her uneasiness about watching her other half dancing with attractive partners.
When asked about the famous ‘Strictly curse’, she said to The Sun: ‘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.
VICTIMS OF THE STRICTLY CURSE
A look back at when The Curse struck… starting all the way back with series 1
Series 1: Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole
Did they/didn’t they? Natasha Kaplinsky and her hunky partner Brendan Cole sparked affair rumours
Strictly hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons during season one. Viewers were transfixed by the apparent close bond between newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky and her hunky partner Brendan Cole.
Although the pair went on to win the show, their success was blighted by affair rumours.
BBC presenter Natasha soon split from long-term partner Mike Barnard while Brendan dumped his fiancée and fellow dancer Camilla Dallerup.
Writing in her book Strictly Inspirational, Camilla said their split was like a ‘mini death’.
‘You go through the arc of grief, anger, bitterness,’ she said. ‘My best friend and dancing professionally with Brendan had both gone.’
However, Natasha has always denied any wrongdoing, saying: ‘There was chemistry, of course, and I certainly fell in love with dancing, but I did not fall in love with Brendan.’
Series 5: Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace
Of all the Strictly romances there’s been over the years, this remains one of the most interesting.
Clandestine: Before long gossip was raging about how Flavia and Matt, then 19, were secretly in love
Flavia Cacace was in a long-term relationship with her dance partner Vincent Simone when she was partnered with Matt Di Angelo in 2007. He was eight years her junior.
Before long gossip was raging about how Flavia and Matt, then 19, were secretly in love. Shortly after the show finished she called time on her romance with Vincent and went public with Matt.
Looking back at their partnership, Matt told Daily Mail: ‘It was a pretty crazy time. It was front page news.
‘The funny thing was the story did not start off as true, but the more you read it, the more you started to believe it and actually act on it.’
Their romance ended in 2010, and a few weeks later Flavia admitted she was dating her latest dance partner, actor Jimi Mistry, who she went on to marry.
Series 7: Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff
Not to be: Kristina is said to have also wanted children while Joe already has two sons from a previous relationship
Over: Unfortunately for Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev their relationship didn’t manage to go the distance
Scandal: Kristina Rihanoff was recently forced to defend her romance with Strictly partner Ben Cohen
Former boxer Joe Calzaghe split with his girlfriend of five years Jo-Emma Larvin just a week into the show in 2009.
The sportsman began a relationship with Russian dancer Kristina Rihanoff soon afterwards.
The pair enjoyed a four-year romance but parted ways after Joe reportedly asked Kristina not to accept a role dancing in a stage production.
Speaking to Hello! Kristina said: ‘He was sick and tired of waiting around for me, and said that if I truly loved him, I wouldn’t have taken the job in the West End.’
Kristina is said to have also wanted children while Joe already has two sons from a previous relationship.
Series 8: Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev
Unfortunately for Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev their relationship didn’t manage to go the distance.
After winning the show in 2010 the pair hooked up, love quickly blossomed and they moved into a London home together.
However, it’s believed Russian Artem’s visa issues saw him having to spend time apart from Kara for months on end and they eventually decided to call it a day.
Actress Kara welcomed her baby son, Frey with fiancé Marius Jensen in 2018, while Artem has struck up a romance with retired WWE wrestler, Nikki Bella since moving to the US to compete on Dancing With the Stars in 2014.
Series 11: Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff
Kristina Rihanoff was recently forced to defend her romance with Strictly partner Ben Cohen insisting that their relationship only began once his 11 year marriage to wife Abby had come to an end.
‘He left his wife a year ago,’ she told Daily Mirror. ‘Recently we started dating but we’re allowed to see each other as two single people.’
Kristina – who has also dated Vincent Simone and ex partner Joe Calzaghe – said there have been other couples, yet she is the only one to be ‘attacked’.
She said: ‘Ben’s said it many times and I’ll say it again – I wasn’t involved in the breaking up of his marriage.’
Meanwhile Abby described the split and resultant divorce as ‘the most traumatic thing to ever happen to me’.
Ben, 37, met Abby in 1995 at the age of 17, and the couple married in 2003 before welcoming their daughters in 2008.
Series 11: Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev
‘It doesn’t exist!’ Rachel Riley brushed aside the fact that The Curse exists, after she left her husband and got together with pro Pasha Kovalev
On the same series, Countdown’s math whiz Rachel Riley’s relationship with her pro partner Pasha Kovalev ultimately ended her marriage to her husband of just one year.
She wed Jamie Gilbert in 2012, taking part on 2013’s season of the dancing show. By the end of 2013, they had split and she was with Pasha – which she claims began after the show came to an end.
‘On Strictly, you form a close bond with your partner, but there was nothing romantic when Pasha and I were dancing. It was just dancing,’ she told the Mail the following January, insisting there’s no such thing as The Curse.
‘[Strictly] serves as a magnifying glass that shows up pre-existing fault lines,’ she said, explaining the situation. She is still with Pasha today.
Series 11: Susanna Reid
Epiphany: Shortly after the show ended, the TV host split from her long-term partner Dominic Cotton
Divorcee: Actress Sunetra Sarker also announced her marriage split after starring on Strictly
Susanna Reid was another victim of series 11. She was billed as the most popular breakfast TV host and in a 15-year relationship when she reached the Strictly Come Dancing final that year.
However shortly after the show ended, the TV host split from her long-term partner Dominic Cotton.
However, mother-of-three Susanna, who was paired with professional Kevin Clifton, said the programme was not to blame for her love problems.
Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna told Daily Mirror: ‘I think people think Strictly was bound up in what happened. It wasn’t. Obviously things have been challenging in my personal life but we are getting things sorted.’
Series 12: Sunetra Sarker
Actress Sunetra Sarker also announced her marriage split after starring on Strictly.
She parted ways with her husband Nick Corfield after ten years of marriage just before the programme hit the screens.
The couple first met in 1989 while on holiday in Jersey and have a 13-year-old son together.
However, she said the romance had ended long before her reality show stint: ‘The truth is three years ago me and my husband amicably split up and it obviously had nothing to do with Strictly.’
The Casualty actress, who plays Dr Zoe Hanna in the BBC medical drama, is now said to be dating business partner Scott Carey. Together, the pair set up the food firm Keep Me Fresh.
Series 12: Caroline Flack
Caroline Flack broke up with her boyfriend of a year and a half, Jack Street, after making her way into the Strictly Come Dancing semi-final.
The price of success: Caroline Flack broke up with her boyfriend of a year and a half, Jack Street, after making her way into the Strictly Come Dancing semi-final
According to The Sun, she was ‘distraught’ backstage at the BBC show, but managed to put on a brave face to wow with her Tango and top the leader board.
A source close to her told the newspaper: ‘It came to a natural end and was mutual.’
Some contestants have ended relationships to engage in a romance with their dance partner on the show, but the source noted that in Caroline’s case, this wasn’t the reason.
‘No one else is involved,’ they stated.
Caroline had been seeing music manager Jack for around 18 months and she previously said that he was fine with her working on the talent show despite its reputation.
‘Jack’s been completely fine about the whole curse thing,’ she said, quoted in The Mirror. ‘He hasn’t once been worried’.
Series 13: Helen George
Over and out: Actress Helen George announced her split from husband of three years, fellow actor Oliver Boot, after she was revealed as a contestant on the show
It did not take long before the dreaded curse of Strictly struck again.
Actress Helen George announced her split from husband of three years, fellow actor Oliver Boot, after she was revealed as a contestant on the show.
‘I can confirm that Helen separated from her husband some time ago,’ a spokesperson for the star said. She has not been linked to any fellow Strictly contestants or professional dancers.
A Royal Academy Of Music graduate, Helen is best known for starring as Nurse Beatrix ‘Trixie’ Franklin in the hit BBC period drama Call The Midwife.
George has also performed as a back-up singer for Sir Elton John and starred in a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Zippel called The Woman In White.
She met her former partner on set of BBC drama Hotel Babylon, and the couple married in December 2012.
Series 14: Louise and Jamie Redknapp
Divorced: Louise Redknapp appeared on the series in 2016, after which she and Jamie were said to be facing marital issues
Footballer Jamie Redknapp is said to have been offered a place on the Strictly line-up recently, but understandably has refused after the series was blamed for the demise of his marriage to wife Louise.
Split: The Cliftons – a married pair of pro dancers – split romantically in 2018
Louise appeared on the series in 2016, after which she and Jamie were said to be facing marital issues. By the end of 2017, they were divorced.
It was highly-speculated that Louise realised, during the show, that she wanted to get back to work having sacrificed her career for her marriage – with co-star Daisy Lowe said to have helped her ‘rediscover her youth’.
A TV source said: ‘Strictly used to be show that no celebrity ever turned down. But the Curse has changed all that. There is now a genuine concern that appearing on the show can negatively impact relationships. Jamie only has negative feelings about Strictly now. There’s absolutely no way he would appear.’
Louise was also rumoured to have struck up a romantic bond with her pro partner Kevin Clifton, but this has never been confirmed.
Series 14: Kevin and Karen Clifton
Dumped: Rebecca Humphries dumped cheating Seann Walsh with a tweet
Forgive and forget? It’s yet to be revealed what the outcome of Katya Jones’ kiss with Seann means for her and hubby Neil
Despite the rumours surrounding thrice-married Kevin while he partnered with Louise, nothing seemed to transpire between the two. He was, of course, married at the time too – to fellow pro Karen Clifton.
However, since then, the pair have split up.
Kevin proposed to her, on her birthday, on stage during a performance of Burn the Floor and they wed in July 2015. But in March 2018, they confirmed that they were no longer together romantically.
They have since continued to work together as a pro dance partnership, however, insisting there is no bad blood.
Series 16: Seann Walsh, Katya Jones, Neil Jones and Rebecca Humphries
2018 has seen The Curse strike early on in the season, with drama escalating just three weeks into the live shows.
In a new twist, a love square formed when Katya Jones, who is married to fellow show professional Neil, was snapped all over her celeb partner, comedian Seann Walsh, on the street outside a pub in London. This took part on Sean’s girlfriend’s – actress and writer Rebecca Humphries – birthday, no less.
The pair brushed it off as a ‘one-off mistake’, despite them kissing and laughing brazenly in public. Since then, Rebecca ‘dumped’ Seann via a Twitter statement.
Seann and Katya did not pull out of the show, with their dalliance a gigantic elephant in the room as they still performed on the series, with Neil on set too.
Series 16: Stacey Dooley, Sam Tucknott and Kevin Clifton
Stacey’s boyfriend of five years Sam Tucknott, 30, revealed Stacey had left him in an interview with the Mail On Sunday
Stacey’s boyfriend of five years Sam Tucknott, 30, revealed Stacey had left him in an interview with the Mail On Sunday in April. He called her dance partner, three-times married Kevin Clifton, 36, a slippery snake
Sam confronted Kevin in furious video chat where he branded him a ‘proper rat’. He told MoS in an exclusive interview he feels betrayed by the new couple’s romance.
It has been alleged that Stacey and Kevin’s relationship was an ‘open secret’ on the Strictly tour News has cast shadow over latest series of show, resurrecting the so-called ‘Strictly curse’ that has seen 14 couples split.
The TV presenter, 32, broke her silence on Twitter on Monday, insisting there ‘are two sides to every story’
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