'Mrs. Ward to be': Former X Factor winner Shayne announces engagement to Hollyoaks actress Sophie Austin... one year after the birth of their daughter

Shayne Ward has announced his engagement to Hollyoaks actress Sophie Austin, exactly a year after the birth of their daughter.

The former X Factor winner, 33, broke the news with Instagram followers on Boxing Day by sharing an image of her hand and the sparkling, diamond encrusted ring on her engagement finger.

Captioning the image with a hashtag, he wrote: ‘#MrsWardtobe.’   

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All that glitters: Shayne Ward has announced his engagement to girlfriend Sophie Austin, exactly a year after the birth of their daughter

All that glitters: Shayne Ward has announced his engagement to girlfriend Sophie Austin, exactly a year after the birth of their daughter

Fans were quick to praise the star following his announcement, with one writing: 'Yay! Congratulations to you both!'  

Directing her response at new fiancé Sophie, another added: 'Lucky gal, him and that ring!!'

A third delighted fan wrote: 'Hope you both are very happy together and ready to start a new chapter in your life. Have the best 2018.' 

Special: The former X Factor winner, 33, broke the news of his engagement to Sophie with Instagram followers on Boxing Day

Special: The former X Factor winner, 33, broke the news of his engagement to Sophie with Instagram followers on Boxing Day

Shayne previously spoke out about his devotion to baby daughter Willow-May, who was born last December, saying he was 'born to be a dad.'

The X Factor star told the Daily Mirror : 'It is my sole purpose. Everything else in life is a hobby. People say I was born to sing but I think I was born to be a dad.'

And the singer turned actor paid tribute to his partner for successfully juggling work and motherhood. 

Devoted dad: Shayne previously opened up about his devotion to baby daughter Willow-May, six months, saying he was 'born to be a dad' in a new interview

Devoted dad: Shayne previously opened up about his devotion to baby daughter Willow-May, six months, saying he was 'born to be a dad' in a new interview

Daddy's girl: The X Factor winner, 32, told the Daily Mirror : 'It is my sole purpose. Everything else in life is a hobby. People say I was born to sing but I think I was born to be a dad'

Daddy's girl: The X Factor winner, 32, told the Daily Mirror : 'It is my sole purpose. Everything else in life is a hobby. People say I was born to sing but I think I was born to be a dad'

Natural father: Shayne has settled so successfully into fatherhood that he revealed he wants seven kids

Natural father: Shayne has settled so successfully into fatherhood that he revealed he wants seven kids

'I already appreciated and admired women but now to actually be a parent  and work - it is crazy,' he said.

So successfully has the Coronation Street star settled into fatherhood that he has plans to expand his family by another six children.

He said:'I want seven kids because I am one of seven kids. But if we were blessed to have another two or three , that would be great. Obviously  it depends on Soph as well because she's an actress'.  

Cute couple: Sophie, who played serial killer Lindsey Butterfield in Hollyoaks for three years, and Shayne started dating last March, several months after the actress split from her husband Graeme Rooney

Cute couple: Sophie, who played serial killer Lindsey Butterfield in Hollyoaks for three years, and Shayne started dating last March, several months after the actress split from her husband Graeme Rooney

Shayne has made the successful transition from singing to acting with his popular role as love rat factory chief Aidan Connor, for which he was awarded a National Television Award . 

Sophie, who played serial killer Lindsey Butterfield in Hollyoaks for three years, and Shayne started dating last March, several months after the actress split from her husband Graeme Rooney.

Shayne had previously been in a 10-year relationship with Fay McKeever, and got engaged in 2012 but split in 2014. 

Within a year he and Sophie had welcomed Willow-May.

The couple was pictured together for the first time on a night out in June 2016, appearing hand-in-hand as they attended Shayne's Corrie co-star Paula Lane's leaving party.

Shayne's representative had confirmed their blossoming relationship with an official statement a few weeks earlier.

'Yes, the friendship between the pair has progressed after Sophie split with her partner, however it’s all still early days to comment further', his representative said.    

'New York flashback': The loved-up couple have gone from strength to strength since they welcomed their daughter

'New York flashback': The loved-up couple have gone from strength to strength since they welcomed their daughter

The star, who won the X Factor in 2005, announced his baby's arrival with a sweet social media post which read: 'Proud to share our incredible news. Me and Sophie had a beautiful baby girl.

'We are completely besotted and in love with the deepest of hearts. Our world Willow May Ward.' [sic] 

Just a week after becoming a father for the first time, the singer turned actor chatted about 'daddy duty' in an interview on The Xtra Factor.

He said: 'I'm really good. This is my little girl, this is Willow May. I just came back from a dinner and I have to be on daddy duty. She's great, she's very content so I'm very happy.'  

 

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