It's always been Lydia Bright's dream to become a mum. And now, in an exclusive interview and shoot with HELLO!, the 28-year-old reveals her wish has come true – she is pregnant with her first child, due to arrive into the world in February. "It's been so hard keeping this a secret," she beams. "I've done so much travelling, I've done all my partying holidays, I'm where I want to be in terms of my life, financially and career-wise. It just feels like the right time for it all to happen for me."
Lydia plans to find out the baby's sex – "I don't like surprises!" – and admits that everyone she's told so far thinks she's having a girl. "I think that's because I'm very girly, so people just imagine me with a girl. But I'm really not bothered. I'd love a girl to be my best friend – me and my mum are best friends, she's my best friend for life. But if I have a boy first he'll be the big brother, all protective."
Lydia Bright has revealed she is expecting her first baby
Of her first trimester she adds: "I am such a healthy eater – but all I wanted was pasta, bread, things like that. Stodge. Constantly! And I now can't eat chicken, eggs or milk – I can't drink water because it makes me feel sick. I can only drink fizzy drinks. It's so weird."
Sadly, though, she's announcing her happy news in unexpected circumstances – as she also reveals that she and Lee Cronin, the father of her baby, have split up. "It's not the ideal situation. I waited quite a long time to try for a baby, waited until I thought it was perfect. I've always wanted the fairytale. And it's obviously not worked out exactly how I wanted," she says.
Video: Lydia Bright reveals her pregnancy
MORE: The Queen, Kate, Meghan and other royals with their beloved pet dogs
Lydia, whose family star in podcast The Brights, which Lee was also a part of, says she's given the relationship her all. "I'm not closing the door on it completely, but I feel like I just keep getting knocked back. I can't beg somebody to be with me, and I can't beg somebody to love me." The mum-to-be, who is currently planning an extension to her Essex home so that her newborn has a walk-in wardrobe and an en suite – is determined to stay positive. "I know that this baby will be the best thing that's ever happened to me."
Her parents Dave and Debbie are also marrying this summer
It's an incredibly exciting time for the Bright family, as Lydia's parents Debbie Douglas and Dave Bright are preparing to tie the knot. The couple, who have been together for almost 40 years, are planning to marry this summer in a celebration that will see Lydia take on bridesmaid duties with her two sisters and two of their foster sisters. Debbie and Dave have fostered more than 200 children and raised four of their own.
MORE: Lisa Faulkner shows off her incredible bikini body
Speaking to HELLO! in April, Debbie admitted: "We've never got married because life gets in the way. I always worry about what everyone else wants – and there's always something else to plan. But I feel like it's our time to do something for ourselves now." The ceremony will take place in the local church followed by a party in a marquee at the family home. The idea of marrying first came about after Dave had a cancer scare.
"Dave is fine now, but it was a worrying time and a big eye-opener," Debbie said. "I realised there were still so many things we needed to do – and one of them was marriage. We got in the car outside the hospital, looked at each other and decided to get married." Lydia added: "It makes me so happy that my parents are finally tying the knot. They've gone through ups and downs and they've worked very hard all their lives. They've always loved each other, but I feel like they're the happiest they've ever been."
Lydia is incredibly close to her mum Debbie
There's no doubt that Lydia's unborn baby will grow up in the most loving home, and that the TV star will form a beautiful bond with her little one. Lydia and her mum Debbie are incredibly close. Paying tribute to her "best friend" one Mother's Day, Lydia sweetly said: "Thank you for being the most incredible mum to me and all of my brothers and sisters - biological and foster - over the years. You have honestly been amazing and I couldn't have wished for a better mum. I love you so much, with all my heart. And happy Mother's Day, you deserve it."
And it sounds like Debbie has always been on hand to offer her funny pearls of wisdom. "Over the years, my mother has given me so many pieces of advice," Lydia explained. "A very good piece of advice she has given me is, 'never be afraid of being too overdressed.' I think this has served me very well, so even when it means I'm going to the pub or the shop, I'm always wearing glamourous clothes. I think that has served me very well - so thanks for that."
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.