Strictly Come Dancing contestant and former JLS singer Aston Merrygold has announced he is about to become a father.

Strictly Come Dancing star Aston Merrygold has confirmed he is expecting his first child with girlfriend Sarah Richards, saying the secret has been “so hard to keep”.

The JLS singer broke the news on Twitter with a series of photos of himself and Richards seated at a dining table with a third place laid and a sign saying ‘Reserved’, and a bunch of pink and blue balloons.

Written under the pictures were the words “Could be pink… could be blue… all we know is that we’re due!”

He captioned the photos: “This secret has been so hard to keep, but I’m so excited to share the news that me and @sarahrichards are going to be parents!!!”

His bandmate Marvin Humes rushed to congratulate the pair, writing on Instagram: “Over the moon for my brother and sister @AstonMerrygold & @SarahLouRichards on the incredible news that Baby Merrygold is cooking!

“Can’t wait to be an Uncle again! So happy for you two the baby is gonna have a lot of energy boy! ps @OritseMusic remember I was the first to predict a boy!”

Merrygold found fame as a member of JLS on The X Factor in 2008 and will star in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing, which begins on BBC One on Saturday.

He will compete against celebrities including This Morning presenter Ruth Langsford, Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, soap star Gemma Atkinson and EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami.