Len Goodman: Former strict chief justice dies at 78

  • By Paul Glynn
  • Entertainment reporter

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman has died aged 78, his manager has confirmed.

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

Goodman featured on Strictly from its launch in 2004 until 2016 and was popular with viewers for his crude humor and avuncular reviews.

As well as Strictly, she appeared on the US version of the show Dancing with the Stars from 2005 to 2022.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully at the age of 78,” his manager Jackie Gill said in a statement on Monday.

“A much loved husband, father and grandfather will be greatly missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”

Goodman’s exuberant bowling made the number his catchphrase while conceding seven points to the opposition.

Strictly’s longest-serving judge, Craig Revel Harwood, described Goodman as a “lovely colleague and dear friend” during a tribute on Monday.

“I’ll always call him Len Goody Goodman and ‘It’s a Ten from Len & Seaveyearn’ will live with me forever,” he added.

Fellow judge Motsi Mapuse posted a black-and-white photo of Goodman on his Instagram story and captioned it, “RIP.”

Former Judge Bruno Tonioli shared the photo Together, they declared: “There will be no one like you. You will always be my perfect 10.”

Dame Darcy Bussell, another former judge, said Goodman had “given me such support during my time at Strictly and I was incredibly lucky to have worked with such a professional, funny and kind man”.

While the former competitor Susanna Reid He said the news of Goodman’s death was “a terrible shock and very sad”.

“Len was an absolute legend and the definition of a perfect genie. He was a lovely man with a great sense of humour, he had such a mischievous turn of phrase.”

He said he’ll never forget the time he described his samba as “all bounce, bum and bongos.”

The show’s host Claudia Winkleman called Goodman “a kind, intelligent and kind man.”

He added: “Glitter, warmth and brilliance.”

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Meanwhile, his co-host Des Daly said he was “a lovely man, genuine, kind and humble, who made an impact on everyone he met”.

“You’ve never been a 7 to me, Len you’ve always been a 10.”

:: “You floated on that floor like butter.”

:: “It was like watching a stork struck by lightning.”

:: “You were like a chess master – you planned your way around the deck. It was a tango mango. Delicious.”

:: “To me, you can’t waver enough.”

image caption,

Len Goodman became famous for his spirited bowling when he conceded seven points to the opposition

Goodman started dancing at the age of 19, winning the British Championships in her late 20s, after which she retired to become a professional judge, teacher and choreographer.

She has been the head judge of Strictly Come Dancing since its inception and made her final appearance in the 2016 Christmas Day special.

She served as head judge on Dancing with the Stars for more than 15 years and announced in November last year that she wanted to “spend more time with my grandchildren and family” in the UK.

A music enthusiast, Goodman was a regular on his BBC Radio 2 show for the late Paul O’Grady.

Tributes included BBC Director General Tim Davey, who said he was “a wonderful, beloved entertainer admired by millions”.

“He charmed people of all ages and made everyone feel like a family member,” he said. “Len was at the heart of Strictly’s success. He will be greatly missed by the public and his many friends and family.”

image source, Good pictures

image caption,

She also appeared on the American version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars

“The word legend is overused but Len and his ‘Seven’ [points] Became a catchphrase across the UK & USA. A real character.”

Boxing star Frank Bruno added: “RIP Len Goodman It was a shock, the man we all thought was immortal met him so many times, he said if I was ever stern, very sad, he would give me some dancing lessons personally.”

Goodman, recipient of the Carl Allan Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to dance, was also the owner of the Goodman Academy, a dance school in Dartford, Kent.

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