Strictly Come Dancing professional Kristina Rihanoff has revealed that she never expected to find love while appearing on the show – but added that it was ‘amazing’ that happened.

The Russian-born dancer has been in a relationship with boxer Joe Calzaghe since they were partnered in the 2008 series – and although his run on the show was short-lived, their relationship has blossomed

“Finding love on Strictly was amazing. Something I never dreamt of,” Kristina said. “I would never have met Joe without it. The show has given me everything.”

She added that the closeness of the partner-celeb relationships was one of the reasons the show spawned so many romances.

“When you dance with someone, it reveals their true personality much quicker than if you were dating normally,” she said.

“That’s the reason why so many couples get together on Strictly. Being on the show is tiring and emotional and so you see people’s true colours very quickly.

“We see each other for what we are and that’s when people fall in love. In the four months of training and performing on the series, you get to know someone better than you would in a whole year outside of the show. You put your emotions out there.”

Kristina – who is set to appear in the West End production of Burn The Floor alongside fellow Strictly pros Robin Windsor and Karen Hauer, also revealed that Joe had shown a different side to his personality when he appeared on the series.

“Joe was so nervous at the beginning of the competition, even though he could have a knock out with anyone in his own profession,” she recalled. “It showed me his vulnerable and sensitive side.”