Nicole Appleton gives birth to baby girl after secret pregnancy

Nicole Appleton has given birth to her second child, a girl named Skipper. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Nicole Appleton has given birth to a baby girl after hiding her pregnancy for nine months, even from her friends.

The All Saints singer announced the happy news on Instagram where she described her partner Stephen Haines and son Gene, whose father is Liam Gallagher, as "besotted" with the tot - who they've named Skipper.

The 45-year-old wrote: "After hiding my pregnancy for the last 9 months...which was SOOOOO difficult & keeping her a secret from all my friends...I can finally announce our incredible news!!

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“Our little girl ‘Skipper Hudson Haines’ has arrived Stephen & Gene are besotted!!! I’m SOOO HAPPY!!"

She posted a photograph of herself and Haines with Skipper as well as a close-up of the infant’s face and another snap where she could be seen cradling her pregnant stomach.

Appleton's celebrity pals were quick to wish her well as they commented on her post, with This Morning’s Holly Willoughby writing: "Welcome to the world beautiful Skipper... you lucky girl... you’ve won the mum lottery... Can’t wait to meet you ... love you all."

"That is sooooo amazing.. so very beautiful.. all my love @ruby1kid," commented actor Sadie Frost.

Meanwhile, others such as EastEnders' Tamzin Outhwaite didn't hold back their surprise as she shared: "OMG NO WORDS."

Appleton welcomed Gene with ex husband Gallagher in 2001. They married in 2008 before divorcing in 2014 when he was expecting a baby with Liza Ghorbani.

Nicole Appleton and Gene Gallagher watch Beady Eye perform at day 2 of the 2013 Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2013 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

She has been in a relationship with Haines, a Facebook executive, since 2018.

Appleton was engaged to Robbie Williams for a short time in the late 1990s with the pair having met at a recording of Top of the Pops in 1997.