A COUPLE whose IVF treatment was paid for by the £5,000 they won in a competition on This Morning returned to celebrate the show's 25th anniversary.

Debbie and David Howarth, of Eastfield Crescent, Mapplewell, were invited to the star-studded party for This Morning's milestone in London after they won a phone competition on the ITV show in October 2005.

Now they have returned to the studio with their three daughters, all born after having IVF.

Debbie, 46, had been entering competitions hoping to win the funds to enable her to have the child the couple wanted so badly. They had tried for five years to have a baby and had already spent £1,600 on gruelling and emotionally draining infertility treatment with no success.

Debbie was also just over the age threshold to receive IVF on the NHS.

But Debbie, who works at Asda, struck gold on the TV show, answering a multiple choice question about what a five o'clock shadow is.

"Dave told me not to get my hopes up. We'd had no luck with competitions before, but this time things were different," she said.

The couple went on to spend nearly £3,000 of their winnings on IVF treatment but it worked first time and Debbie gave birth to daughter, Ellie, now six.

The remaining six embryos were frozen, and after Debbie suffered a miscarriage after Ellie was born, the couple decided to use some of the embryos and two years later twins, Millie and Grace, four, arrived.

Debbie said she and plumber David, 33, went on This Morning when she first fell pregnant.

'Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton heard about our story and invited us on the show. They were just as nice in person as on screen."

Things didn't go too smoothly for Debbie, though. She suffered for five months with hyperemesis - severe morning sickness - with Ellie and when she was pregnant with the twins, her morning sickness was so severe this time that she split her gullet.

Luckily Millie and Grace arrived safely by Caesarean section in August 2009.

"The pregnancies weren't easy but we wouldn't have changed things for the world," said Debbie.

"Even though there are two years between Ellie and the twins, they're really triplets as they were all taken from the same batch of fertilised eggs."