British singer Kerry Katona

Kerry Katona has confirmed she is in a serious relationship with Ryan Mahoney and says she is in "love" with the hunk.

The 38-year-old star has been rumoured to be back with her on/off boyfriend for several weeks and now, following photos emerging of them kissing and canoodling on vacation in Thailand, Kerry has revealed the pair are in a "settled" relationship and she couldn't be happier.

The former Atomic Kitten singer has praised Ryan for being a huge support to her and her children following the shock death of her ex-husband George Kay from a drugs overdose at the age of 39 in July.

Writing in her latest column for New! magazine, she said: "So the cat's out of the bag - yes I'm with Ryan Mahoney, and yes, I'm very happy.

"We're currently at the Chi Residence in Thailand with the kids, on my first holiday in three years, and we're having a wonderful time ... He's been a good friend to me and over the last few months we just decided to give it a go. He's been a godsend recently when I've needed him most. We're settled, committed, my kids love him and so do I."

Kerry - who has five children in total, Molly, 17, and Lilly-Sue, 16, with first husband Brian McFadden, Heidi, 12, and Maxwell, 11, with second spouse Mark Croft and Dylan-Jorge, five, with third hubby George - insists she and Ryan will be keeping their romance private because of how her previous relationships have worked out when she has been too open about them.

She added: "The fact is, I've kept us out of the spotlight and that's exactly how I want it to stay. I don't want some big romance in the limelight like I've had with my other partners. In my mind, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. So this time I'm finally dating a man who has a job, his own money, and is very happy to stay out of the media."