Strictly's Nadiya and Kai's love story from secret trysts to Loose Women tears (2024)

Strictly couple Nadiya Bychkova and Kai Widdrington fell in love on the BBC show and kept their relationship under wraps for a while before they went public with their romance in 2022

Strictly's Nadiya and Kai's love story from secret trysts to Loose Women tears (1)

Strictly Come Dancing pros Nadiya Bychkova and Kai Widdrington went to great lengths to keep their romance a secret.

The couple met on the BBC dance competition at the end of 2021 and fell head over heels for each other, but initially kept their relationship on the down-low. Devoted mum Nadiya, 34, shares seven-year-old daughter Mila with her ex-fiancé, Slovenian footballer Matija Škarabot, and it took some time for her to feel ready to move on with Kai, 28.

Once they made their love for each other public in 2022, the pair embarked on their first dance show together last year, Once Upon a Time - and loved it so much that they're touring the UK with another this summer. Behind the Magic promises to give fans "a glimpse into the real-life couple's fairytale romance".

Speaking to HELLO! Magazine in December, Kai said of the moment he fell for his co-star: "I just knew Nadiya was The One. She's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, but the real beauty is not just what you see on the outside – it's the person on the inside I fell in love with." He described her as the "kindest person" and the "most amazing mother".

The tour is a chance for the couple to spend some quality time together doing what they both love. Filming for Strictly can mean they are often apart for long periods of time. "We don't really get to see much of one another because we are working with our own celebrities," Nadiya said in March 2023.

She told the Mirror: "You can be in a different part of the UK, and then you only see each other when you get to the studio, you say 'Oh hi'." Of their debut show last year, Nadiya said: "[It's] very exciting because we get to dance together, we get to be together, it's very special."

On Loose Women last year, Nadiya discussed how she introduced her daughter Mila to Kai. She said: "It took quite some time, honestly, it's not easy." Gesturing to panelist Judi Love, who has two teenage children, Nadiya said: "As you know you protect your child as much as you can."

"It took some time but he proved himself in all the possible ways," Nadiya said appearing to fight back tears. The dancer continued: "Mile absolutely adores him," which even left Judi emotional as she smiled and held Nadiya's hand. Kai revealed: "She calls me Kai Lemon Pie, she goes: 'Hi Kai Lemon Pie, bye Kai Lemon Pie!'"

Gushing over his girlfriend, Kai said: "She is the best person I have ever danced with and I am not just saying that because she is my girlfriend." The Strictly duo were sneaking around for some time before the general public found out.

In an interview with The Sun in January 2023, Kai said: "We knew that it would come out and that it would be a big thing, so we kept it private for as long as we could, which was both annoying and exciting at the same time. It was one of those things. We would go somewhere and only we knew we were there.

"Sometimes we would go out in disguise, or baseball caps pulled down low, and we knew this period of time was only going to last a little bit." Asked if he had proposal plans, Kai coyly replied: "Listen, what can I say... we are very happy together and we don't want this to end. Of course we want to be together for life, so we will see where it goes."

Nadiya and Kai were rumoured to be in a relationship for a number of months before they confirmed the news. A source told The Sun in January 2022: "Nadiya and Kai have incredible chemistry, and a very strong friendship. Right from week one they ­connected, and are always laughing and messing about."

The source added: "They're great mates, and lots of people backstage think they'd make a really cute ­couple when the time is right." Nadiya was previously married to Russian dancer Sergey Konovaltsev before they split in 2015, and Kai was in a relationship with fellow dancer Giulia Dotta for five years.

Strictly's Nadiya and Kai's love story from secret trysts to Loose Women tears (2024)


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