Curtis Pritchard has heaped praised on Love Island co-star Maura Higgins as he wished her a happy birthday on social media, saying: "I'm so lucky to be able to call you my girlfriend."

The former Dancing with the Stars pro-dancer has been dating the Irish model since they appeared on Love Island last summer, coming fourth in the series.

The 23-year-old took to Instagram to share a series of cute throwback photos of Higgins to mark her 29th birthday.

He wrote: "Happy birthday to this little munchkin @maurahiggins..... Miss you already and can not [sic] wait to see you.

"You really are truly amazing and beautiful. 

"To see everything you have achieved in the past months is incredible and I'm so lucky to be able to call you my girlfriend HAPPY BIRTHDAY."

Longford native Higgins recently revealed she and Pritchard had officially become a couple.

Speaking to OK! magazine, she said: "He asked and I said yes, obviously."

"He took me away for a weekend break, and he asked me out over dinner in London the next day," said the 29-year-old.

Explaining why it took him so long to ask Higgins to be his girlfriend, the professional dancer insisted he wants something "that's going to last forever".

"There's no point in rushing things. We've only known each other a short amount of time," he said.

We need your consent to load this Instagram contentWe use Instagram to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

For more television news click here