Tyler Perry is to become a father.

The television writer and producer let slip that his on-off girlfriend, model Gelila Bekele, is pregnant with his first child as he celebrated his 45th birthday at a party with his close friends.

According to the New York Post newspaper's Page Six column, a source said: ''He said he had to start getting used to not getting a lot of sleep, because his life was about to change in a big way. He said, 'Some of you know what I'm talking about.'''

The news follows rumours that Gelila, 28, was expecting after close friends of the couple accidentally posted messages of congratulations on social media, with one even posting a picture of the mother-to-be and commenting that she was 7 months along and expecting a boy, before the image was quickly deleted.

Tyler - who is yet to confirm the news - has previously expressed his desire to become a father but insisted he didn't have the time for parenthood.

He said last year: ''I know I would be a great father. I don't want to work this hard, I don't want to have all this and not leave it to my children. I also know, that as hard as I'm working -- doing 20 hours a day -- now is not the time.''