Nicola Adams has praised 'Strictly Come Dancing' for "pushing boundaries".

Nicola Adams

Nicola Adams

The 38-year-old boxer has been coupled up with pro Katya Jones, 31, for the current series of the BBC Latin and ballroom competition, and she urged her critics to realise "that the world didn't end" as a result of the show's first same-sex pairing.

Appearing on this week's episode of 'The Graham Norton Show', she said: "I've been asked every year, but I always had training commitments, and this is the first time I didn't.

"I only had two conditions – I wanted to dance with another woman, and I wasn't going to wear a dress... It is really good to have that kind of diversity on TV.

"[I didn't think it would be such a big deal], but I guess it is for some people. You always have to push the boundaries and show it is just two girls dancing, and that the world didn't end."

The retired Olympian - who noted she's "had enough" and "won everything" in her boxing career - admitted Katya is just as competitive as she is.

She added: "She matches my energy and she works hard. I have to ask if I want a break or some food – it's worse than having a boxing coach."

Meanwhile, Katya recently opened up on their partnership and admitted Nicola lacks "natural grace" but she makes up for it with "aggressive positivity".

She said: "Nicola is my fifth dance partner and there have been some who were ... problematic, let’s say.

“And even if you take Nicola, she does not have ­natural grace, plasticity. But, if you apply the right method, I believe anyone can learn...

"I love this term - aggressive positivity, it’s kind of such an optimistic-aggressive attitude."