Strictly Come Dancing‘s Kristina Rihanoff has revealed how Joe Calzaghe nursed her through a health scare.

The Welsh ex-world champion boxer helped Russian dancer Kristina cope with an operation to remove a benign ovarian cyst.

She told the new edition of Hello! magazine: “It was a really scary experience because I want to have children one day.”

Kristina, who returned to screens at the weekend for the launch of a new Strictly series partnering Goldie, said her health scare occurred in the early days of their relationship.

“It’s one of those things that can test a relationship,” said the Latin and ballroom dancer who met Joe when he was a Strictly contestant.

“Joe was just there for me. He took me to the hospital, brought me back to Wales, was around me 24/7, feeding me, helping me – and that’s when I was just taken so deeply by how caring he is.”

Joe, who has two sons with his ex-wife Mandy, praised his new partner: “Kristina is gorgeous, really sensitive, loving.

“She’s the person that I’ve gelled with most out of anybody in my life. She’s definitely the most understanding person I’ve been with.”

Former BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner Joe now hopes to pursue a new career – acting. And he is already being coached.

“I think people would expect me to be like Vinnie Jones, but I think if I take it seriously I can do other things. I can be versatile.”