Countdown’s Rachel Riley says abuse she receives online stopped her baby kicking

Rachel Riley has vowed to keep speaking out on Twitter despite facing a barrage of abuse.

The Countdown star, 35, has blocked more than 1,500 vile trolls.

She revealed the stress from the hatred led to her baby stopping kicking for two days while pregnant.

Rachel, mum to one-year-old Maven, said: "They were so abusive.

"I’ve developed a thick skin but now I never see a lot of things, even nice stuff, which is a shame because I used to use Twitter to help children with maths homework."

She added: "In my position, you have to be a role model."

Rachel continued: "I needed to find my self-esteem from something within me, rather than from people telling me I’m wearing a nice dress."

The telly star, who lives in London, is married to Siberian-born ex-Strictly star Pasha Kovalev, 41.

When she posted a family snap last summer to mark their first wedding anniversary, she suffered a barrage of online abuse.

Asked if she fears for daughter Maven growing up in a social media-dominated world, she replied: "Definitely."

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The star went on: "Especially with her being Jewish, you worry about what generations have been through before.

"You don’t know what will happen.

"Do we keep our heads down? Or do we fight?"

Rachel also revealed she is learning Russian as Pasha’s mum Galina, who speaks no English, lived with them for six months during lockdown to help raise Maven.

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She said: "I did an online course which taught me Russian phrases such as, 'I opened the window with a crowbar' but now the kind of stuff I say all the time is, 'She’s pooed!'"

Maven was born in the couple’s bathroom six hours after Rachel felt her first labour twinge, leaving her no time to get to hospital.

She said: "The midwives got here 20 minutes before she was born. I was standing up — there’s a video of the midwife catching her.

"I wasn’t scared, I was more like, 'This is happening. Get it out!'."

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