Radio Ulster presenter Kerry McLean pregnant at 40
Top BBC Radio Ulster star Kerry McLean has spoken of her delight after finding out that she and her husband Ralph are set to receive the Christmas present of a lifetime later this year.
The 40-year-old has announced that she is looking forward excitedly to welcoming her third child into the world in December.
She described the news as a total surprise.
Kerry has two children already,, Tara and Dan, with her husband and BBC colleague Ralph.
The afternoon show presenter took to Twitter yesterday, posting an adorable photograph of a tiny hand-made baby cardigan and her first scan images.
She said: "So here's something I wasn't expecting in my 40th year!! Absolutely beyond delighted!".
The new baby is due on Boxing Day.
Kerry said of the happy news: "I think this might just be the best Christmas present that Ralph and I have ever had."
She also revealed that her mother-in-law Iris is already excited about the impending birth.
She is busy knitting in preparation, with the cardigan in the photograph she shared the first of the woolly bounty.
Originally from Ballymoney, Kerry presents the 3-5pm slot on Radio Ulster.
Her husband Ralph is also well known for his country music shows on the same station, and yesterday he echoed his wife's expression of delight at the imminent new arrival: "Just wanted to share our big news! Can't wait! McLean number 3 on way!"
Congratulations poured in from fans and colleagues including veteran presenter Gerry Kelly and weather experts Angie Philips and Barra Best, who teased: "If it's a boy, feel free to use the name 'Barra'."
Kerry and Ralph are the latest celebrities from Northern Ireland to welcome new children in their 40s.
The average age of a first-time mother in Northern Ireland is now 28, a figure which has risen over the years from just 24 in 1983.
Earlier this year Downtown Radio presenter Caroline Fleck had Molly, her second child, aged 43.
Caroline admitted that she never thought she would become a mum again in her 40s.
But she revealed she feels she is more patient as an older parent.
"Admittedly, it is quite a gap, but you never stop being a mum and you quickly remember how to look after a little one again," she said.
"Interestingly, I find I have more patience as an older mum, and I'm also more confident," she said.
"I take the time to enjoy Molly and I'm much more relaxed now.
"The flip side is that I'm definitely much more tired than I was the first time round, and all the travelling back and forth doesn't help on that front, either."
She added: "Molly is a real blessing, I never thought I'd have another child at this stage."
Last night, Caroline sent a special message to prospective mother Kerry though Facebook, stating: "Omg!! Welcome to the club. Big congrats, totally thrilled for you both x."