We have some sad news to report, Dancing With the Stars, fans. Longtime judge and big British personality, Len Goodman, has died. He was just 78 years old. Goodman was a well-known professional ballroom dancer who became a judge on the hit ABC show Dancing With the Stars. Goodman was one of the show’s three original judges, along with Carrie-Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. He also judged alongside former DWTS professionals, siblings Derek, and Juliana Hough. This season Hough will be hosting, alongside former contestant, Alfonso Ribeiro.
Goodman’s agent confirmed his death, saying that the professional dancer and judge had passed away in hospice care, surrounded by friends and family. He had been suffering from bone cancer.
Upon the announcement of his death, former colleagues from the BBC shared statements with The Hollywood Reporter:
“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.”
What was amazing about Goodman was that he did not begin dancing until he was 19. He then became a professional dancer, even winning the Carl Alan Award. Dancing With the Stars was not the first ballroom dancing show where Goodman served as a professional judge. In 2004, BBC One aired a new dance competition — Strictly Come Dancing. Goodman was the only judge on the show. Goodman worked on the show from 2004 through 2016. Strictly Come Dancing was actually adapted for American audiences and became Dancing With the Stars.
Sadly, Goodman just announced that he was permanently retiring from judging just last year. Derek Hough has become a permanent judge, alongside Inaba and Tonioli. Goodman remained with the show as a judge just one season after its controversial move from ABC to Disney+. Dancing With the Stars became the first show on Disney+ to be livestreamed.
Hough’s sister, Julianne, will also be hosting the show. Not long ago, host Tyra Banks announced that she would be stepping down from her position. She was hosting with Alfonso Ribeiro. Ribeiro will now have primary hosting duties, with Julianne serving as his cohost.