Derek Hough felt ''really protective'' of Hayden Panettiere on the set of 'Nashville'.

The 25-year-old actress is expecting her first child with fiancé Wladimir Klitschko and the 'Dancing with the Stars' performer, who is set to guest-star in several upcoming episodes of the TV series, admits he was worried she might injure herself while working alongside him in Tennessee.

The 29-year-old star told ''I get really protective over pregnant women! I'm like walking around her with my arms out like, 'are you okay?! But she's still working, she's still rocking it!''

He added: ''She looks great. She's amazing. I love her.''

The heartthrob has very little acting experience, but received a warm welcome from the cast of the country music show.

He said: ''Everyone was so kind, so sweet, and Hayden was incredible to work with. The whole cast and crew were so welcoming, they weren't like, 'Who's this guy?' They were really awesome.''

Hayden is due to welcome a baby girl into the world later this year and previously claimed she was born to be a mother.

The blonde beauty said: ''I've lived a very big life, and I don't feel my age, and I feel like I was born to be a mother.

''Sometimes people speak about [having kids] like, 'Your life ends - you're never going to be able to do anything again!' And I'm like, 'What are you talking about?'

''Motherhood is the most beautiful, exciting thing, and there's nothing that I feel like I can't accomplish while having children in my life.''