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Rachel Riley learns Russian for Pasha Kovalev

BANG Showbiz logoBANG Showbiz 15/03/2019 Bang Showbiz
Pasha Kovalev et al. posing for the camera: Pasha Kovalev and Rachel Riley © Bang Showbiz Pasha Kovalev and Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley is learning Russian for her boyfriend Pasha Kovalev.

The 'Countdown' co-presenter is studying the language for the 39-year-old Latin and ballroom dancer - who this year announced he was leaving 'Strictly Come Dancing' - so she can converse with him in his native tongue and the first words she ever practised saying was "give me a kiss".

Making an appearance on 'The Jonathan Ross Show', she revealed said: "I am learning Russian, I'm doing it with an online app, it's really homemade with Clip Art from the 90s to explain stuff. It teaches you how kids learn. My spelling is absolutely appalling but you pick it up as you go. The first thing I learnt was [the Russian for] 'Give me a kiss' and then from the app you learn things like, 'I open the window with a crowbar.' "

Rachel - who met Pasha when she was partnered with him on 'Strictly Come Dancing' in 2013 - is motivated to learn the language because she found it "disconcerting" when she couldn't understand what Pasha's friends were talking about when they all hung out together.

Rachel, 33, said: "Pasha's friends are mostly Russian and they were brought up in Soviet Russia and now they've come to mostly the States. We go on holiday with them and his mum and his brother as well. The first time I met the boys, I spoke no Russian at all. It's really disconcerting, a bunch of thirty-something boys talking and giggling and drinking and I have no idea what they're talking about."

The television brain box also added that pair's mothers bond by watching cat videos together as Pasha's mum does not speak English and Rachel's mum does not speak any Russian.

She said: "We've had them together on holiday and the mums just get together and they just look at cat videos on YouTube. The universal language of cat videos."

'The Jonathan Ross Show' airs on Saturday (15.03.19) at 9.30pm on ITV.

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