Aishwarya Rai Bachchan delivers baby girl

Much-awaited child is the first for Bollywood star and actor husband Abhishek Bachchan.

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Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has given birth to a baby girl today, the first child for the former Miss World and her actor husband Abhishek Bachchan.

Abhishek Bachchan tweeted this morning "It's a girl!!!!! :-)))))", while his father, the Bollywood legend, Amitabh Bachchan tweeted "I am DADA to the cutest baby girl".

The birth for the star couple, who married in 2007, has generated much interest in India, with bets of as much as R1.5 billion ($29.5m) reportedly placed on whether the child would be born on November 11 or not.

Aishwarya, 38, delivered the child at Mumbai's Seven Hills Hospital.

India's boisterous news channels were unusually respectful of the family's privacy after an industry group issued new guidelines instructing television journalists to cover the birth announcement with restraint. According to news reports, the Broadcast Editors Association issued the guidelines last week.

The new rules included no pre-coverage of the birth and no outdoor broadcast vans outside the hospital. The event was to be reported only after a formal announcement by the Bachchan family.

* With Associated Press