Actress Tina Malone, 50, has given birth to a baby girl named Flame two weeks before her due date.
Shameless and former Brookside star Tina broke the news on Twitter that she and her husband Paul Chase, who at 31 is 19 years her junior, had become parents.
proud to announce the arrival of our BABY GIRL,cant wait to spend xmas as a family.xxxx
- Tina Malone (@TinaMalone23) December 17, 2013
The day before, she told The Mirror she'd been feeling a bit headachey and had high blood pressure, so her midwife was keeping an eye on her. Tina said: "The last thing I need is to be rushed to hospital sooner than expected and have to rely on my husband to bring me my breast pads and nighties."
She added: "It's hard to believe I'm so close now. I just have to hope Flame decides to stick to the appointed date – December 31 – and not show up early!"
Tina and Paul have been married for three years and back in February they made the announcement that they were beginning IVF treatment.
She said: 'I've worked long, long hours for a long time on Shameless and now I want to give time to my husband and having a baby – it's a really exciting time for us."
Then a few months later, she told This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby live on the show that she was pregnant. Sadly, she was expecting twins but was left devastated when an ultrasound scan revealed that one of the babies had died.
Tina, who has a 31-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, has defended her decision to have a baby at the age of 50, saying: "I'm having a baby with the man I love and that's no one else's business but ours."
And more babies born to shlebs in 2013