Southampton’s very own Strictly Come Dancing superstar has backed the show to last for another two decades as the series celebrated its 20th birthday.

Kai Widdrington joined the popular BBC series in 2021 as a professional dancer – and is hopeful it will continue to dazzle audiences.

Widdrington - who grew up in Chandler's Ford - said he never dreamed he would join the cast when he was a little boy learning to dance in Southampton.

Daily Echo: Kai Widdrington outside the Mayflower TheatreKai Widdrington outside the Mayflower Theatre (Image: Newsquest)

He said: “Strictly was always there in my life. My mother, my grandmother, even my dad were always massive Strictly fans.

“It’s pretty full circle to be a professional now, it is absolutely mind boggling.

“Everyone’s proud of proud of me because it’s a British thing.

“We’re very, very traditional in this country, and Strictly is literally part of the furniture.”

Kai’s fellow Strictly professional and real-life partner Nadiya Bychkova said she would love to see the children of the current professionals join the cast in the future.

READ MORE: Strictly star from Southampton thrilled to perform at his 'theatre of dreams'

She said: “It’s quite an anniversary, especially in this world of TV shows and the whole world of entertainment, where everything moves and evolves so fast.

“It’s just getting bigger and better in all the ways, the pro numbers, the line-up with the celebrities.”

Assessing its chances of lasting another 20 years, Bychkova said: “I think it can, I really hope it will. Maybe my daughter will be one of the professionals or Gorka (Marquez)’s little ones, or Neil (Jones)’s or Janette (Manrara)’s.

“I really hope so because it’s just a wonderful thing, it inspires people to go and have a dance lesson, which then brings them a bit of joy, it’s good for your body, it’s good for your mental health.

“I really hope it will carry on for another 20 years or more.”

Widdrington and Bychkova will soon embark on a tour together, Nadiya & Kai: Behind The Magic.

The closing night of the tour will be at the Mayflower Theatre on June 30.

Kai said: “We’re the luckiest dancers in the world, let’s be real, apart from let’s say, if you want to be a backing dancer for Beyonce.

“We dance in front of the nation, and it’s the most famous show on television.

“So, in my opinion, Strictly will be around for another 20 years and it should be around in 20 years because it’s blooming brilliant.”