Len Goodman: Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars judge dies at 78

Former Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman has died at the age of 78.

He died on Saturday at a hospice in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, surrounded by his family. He had had bone cancer.

Tributes have poured in from the likes of Strictly co-host Claudia Winkleman, who called Goodman “a class act”, as well as former judges Dame Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli.

Besides Strictly, Goodman also appeared on the US version of the show, Dancing with the Stars from 2005 until 2022.


A former dancer himself, he featured on Strictly from its launch in 2004 until 2016 and proved popular with viewers for his wry humour and avuncular critiques.

His enthusiastic delivery when awarding a score of seven points effectively turned the number into his catchphrase, along with “it’s a 10 from Len” for those even more deserving contestants on the popular celebrity dancing show.

Len Goodman

Strictly’s longest-serving judge, Craig Revel Horwood, referenced that showmanship while paying tribute on Monday, describing Goodman as a “gorgeous colleague and dear friend”.

“Len Goody Goodman is what I always called him and ‘It’s a ten from Len & seveeeeern’ will live with me forever,” he added.

Winkleman told BBC News: “There was nobody like him because he was so humble.

“He was adorable – on camera, off camera, and to everybody who took part.”

‘Always a 10’

Her co-host Tess Daly agreed that Goodman was “a beautiful man, genuine, warm and humble, who left an impression on everyone he met”.

“I’ll never forget the fun we had on set, his love and passion for dancing and that wonderfully cheeky smile lit up the screen,” she posted on social media.

“You were never a 7 for me, Len you were always a 10.”

This article contains content provided by Twitter. We ask for your permission before anything is loaded, as they may be using cookies and other technologies. You may want to read Twitter’s cookie policy, external and privacy policy, external before accepting. To view this content choose ‘accept and continue’.

Tonioli shared a picture of him and Goodman together, declaring: “There will never be anyone like you. You will always be my perfect 10.”

Shirley Ballas said that her “past teacher” was a “dance legend” and “a true gentleman” as well as a “shining star in the ballroom that everyone loved.”

Dame Darcey, meanwhile, noted how Goodman “gave me such support on my time at Strictly and I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with such a professional, funny and loveable man”.

Related Articles

Back to top button