SOAP star Hayley Tamaddon has announced the birth of her "perfect" first child after previously believing she would never be able to conceive.

The former Emmerdale and Coronation Street actress posted a picture of her hand holding her newborn's hand on social media.

The 42-year-old, from Blackpool, wrote: "He's here. He's incredible. And we are besotted."

Earlier this year, Tamaddon revealed that she was expecting her first child with her partner Adrian.

She tweeted: "I've always wanted to be a mum and didn't think I could have children. And now, at the ripe old age of 42 - I'M PREGNANT!"

The actress, who played Del Dingle in Emmerdale from 2005 until 2007 and Andrea Beckett in Coronation Street from 2013 until 2015, later said she took 18 pregnancy tests to confirm the news after years of believing she could not conceive.

She told Closer magazine: "I must have taken 18 tests - 10 after my first one and then one each day throughout the week. I spent a fortune as we couldn't believe it.

"The fact I'm 42 and having a baby is absolutely incredible. For so long I thought I couldn't have children, it just never happened.

"Now that it has, everything feels natural and so right. We're expecting a boy, which is amazing, and I've never been happier."

She added: "I always thought I'd be married by 30 and have a child at 33, but life didn't work out that way.

"I've been in long-term relationships in the past and I expected kids would follow naturally but they never did.

"You get to a point where you accept it. Years ago, I started having tests with a doctor to see if there was anything wrong but then my relationship ended so I didn't look into it further."

Tamaddon - who won Dancing On Ice in 2010 - added: "When I reached 40, I was single and thought 'Well, it's never going to happen now'. I threw myself into my career, turned my focus to work and I was happy."