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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
McCartney and Mills expecting baby
Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
Sir Paul and Mills' baby is expected later this year
Heather Mills, the wife of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, is expecting the couple's first baby later this year.

"We are delighted with this happy news," the couple said.

Sir Paul married Heather Mills, a former model and now anti-landmine campaigner, in June 2002.

They wed in a lavish but private ceremony at Ireland's San Salvator's church, Glaslough.

Sir Paul, 60, met Mills, 35, in 1999, a year after the death of his wife Linda from cancer. He proposed to her in 2001.

Engagement

Sir Paul's brother, Mike McCartney, said: "The whole family is delighted with the news. It will bring a breath of life to the McCartney family.

"Us McCartneys are very good at being dads," he added to the ITV news channel.

Mills, whose modelling career took off during the 1980s, lost her left leg below the knee after being hit by a police motorcyclist answering an emergency call.

She was previously married to businessman Alfie Karmal in the 1980s and had two ectopic pregnancies when she was younger.

Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Paul recently played his first show in Russia
Sir Paul has four children: Mary, 33, Stella 31, and James 25, as well as his step-daughter Heather, 39, who was Linda's daughter from a previous marriage.

In an interview with chat show host Michael Parkinson on BBC One last year she admitted that health problems had affected her fertility, and hit out at rumours she was expecting.

"They said I'd been pregnant, which is really hurtful, knowing that I've had cancer of the uterus and two ectopic pregnancies.

"I'm sure for any woman out there it's hard enough when your family keeps saying 'When are you going to have a baby, then?', never mind the whole world keeps saying 'Oh, she's pregnant this week'."

Russian tour

Last July, Sir Paul cut short an interview at the couple's first public engagement when asked whether his wife was "broody".

He is currently on a European tour that has seen him play more Beatles songs than at any point since the group disbanded in 1970.

The tour's highlight so far has been Sir Paul's first concert in Russia. He played Moscow's Red Square on Saturday night.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also gave the couple a personally-guided tour of the Kremlin, before attending the concert.

Sir Paul has also joined his wife in condemning landmines and cluster bombs, which have been blamed with killing and injuring many civilians.

Mills and Sir Paul will celebrate their first wedding anniversary on 11 June.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Roland Buerk
"The date of the birth remains a secret"



SEE ALSO:
McCartney plays Red Square
24 May 03  |  Entertainment
Mills rejects 'gold digger' jibes
16 May 03  |  Entertainment
Mills removes false leg on live TV
01 Nov 02  |  Entertainment


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