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Len Goodman, the former Dancing With the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing judge, has died. He was 78.
Goodman’s agent confirmed the news, saying that he had died at a hospice Saturday “peacefully, surrounded by his family.” He had been suffering from bone cancer.
Goodman featured on Strictly from its launch on the BBC in 2004 until 2016, making his final appearance on the show’s 2016 Christmas Day special. He joined the U.S. version of the show, Dancing With the Stars, at its start in 2005. He retired from the show in 2022, saying he wanted to “spend more time with my grandchildren and family” in the United Kingdom. Goodman’s enthusiastic style, and wry humor, made him an audience favorite on both sides of the Atlantic.
In a statement shared on the official Dancing With the Stars handle, ABC/Disney+ said, “Len Goodman will always be an icon in the world of ballroom dance, and we were lucky to have him as part of our Dancing with the Stars family for 31 seasons. He was warm and caring, and always delivered genuine guidance. We are devastated by the news of his passing and our hearts are with his family during this very difficult time.”
“Len Goodman was a wonderful, warm entertainer who was adored by millions,” said the BBC Director-General Tim Davie. “He appealed to all ages and felt like a member of everyone’s family. Len was at the very heart of Strictly’s success. He will be hugely missed by the public and his many friends and family.”
Added Kate Phillips, BBC director of unscripted: “This is such terribly sad news. Len was a much-loved member of the Strictly family, and from the very beginning, he was integral to its success. He always brought so much invaluable expertise and entertainment to the show and on a personal note, Len was very kind to me and everyone who worked with him, always making time for a chat. I can’t quite believe he’s gone and we’ll never have a Ten from Len again.”
A statement from his manager, Jackie Gill, on Monday called Goodman “a much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends, and all who knew him.”
Goodman began dancing at 19 and won the British Championships in his late 20s. He went on to become a professional judge and teacher. He was a recipient of the Carl Alan Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to dance and was the founder and owner of the dance school the Goodman Academy in Dartford, Kent.
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