Strictly Come Dancing professionals Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova have backed the show to last for another two decades as the series celebrated its 20th birthday.

The show first aired on May 15 2004 as a new incarnation of the professional dancing show Come Dancing.

It has since revived the careers of countless celebrities and made households names of professional dancers and judges.

Widdrington and Bychkova, who are a couple in real life and will soon embark on a tour together, Nadiya & Kai: Behind The Magic, said they would love to see the children of the current professionals join the cast in the future.

Ukrainian-born Bychkova told the PA news agency: “First of all, happy birthday Strictly. 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.

“I’m not from this country so I didn’t grow up watching it on TV. I was competing, and I’m from a very different background, but as soon as I started the show, which was very exciting, I absolutely fell in love with it.

“Nowadays the world is tough and hard out there so it is something that people are looking forward to, to get away from the not-as-nice reality that we face nowadays, into that beautiful world and enjoy the lovely music and outfits and the incredible journeys of celebrities.”

Behind The Magic tour
Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers Nadiya Bychkova and Kai Widdrington during rehearsals (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Assessing its chances of lasting another 20 years, she 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. So I really hope it will carry on for another 20 years or more.”

Widdrington said he never dreamed he would join the cast when he was a little boy learning to dance in Southampton.

He said: “I wasn’t thinking back then I want to be on the show. It was literally when I started to learn to dance. I was seven and I didn’t really understand what the dancing was, and then I saw the first cast of the professionals doing the dances that I was learning, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s how it’s supposed to look.’

“But it was always there in my life. My mother, my grandmother, even my dad were always massive Strictly fans.

He added: “It’s pretty full circle to be a professional now, it is absolutely mind boggling. I wish my grandmother was still around to see it because she’d be the proudest woman in the world.

Behind The Magic tour
Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova with their backing dancers (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“But my mum’s very proud, my dad’s very proud, 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.

“Strictly in the run-up to Christmas is what British television on Saturday night primetime is about.

“And I’m so blessed and lucky to get to be a part of it. And I can probably speak for both of us when I say we’ll never, ever take it for granted.

“We wouldn’t be able to do the tour that we’re on now, if we weren’t on the show. So we owe a lot to the show.”

He added: “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 get to come back every year and teach, in my case last year, a national treasure (Angela Rippon) how to dance.

Behind The Magic tour
Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova rehearsing (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“And we do it in front of the nation, and it’s the most famous show on television. And then we get to go on a nationwide tour with your best friends for a month afterwards. So we really are the luckiest people in the world.

“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.”

Widdrington and Bychkova’s upcoming 25-date tour will begin in Gateshead on June 1 and end in Southampton on June 39, including a date at London’s Peacock Theatre on June 23.

They plan to offer audiences a glimpse into how all “the magic” of dance comes together, with Widdrington saying: “Everyone wants to know what goes on behind the scenes, and what is really behind what we’ve created.

“Everyone sees the sparkly dancers on the television, and on the stage, and it all just comes together in the blink of an eye but there’s a lot of teamwork that goes into it.

“We’re taking inspiration from those of the past, the greats that have come before us in the golden age of Hollywood, from the MGM era of Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, all the way up to Bob Fosse, Michael Jackson to the modern day and Beyonce, Bruno Mars.

“We’re taking our little bit from them, and showing our audience how it inspires us to do what we do today as individual artists and taking people behind the scenes and showing them things that they may not see on our day job.”