Former “Strictly Come Dancing” judge Len Goodman has died at the age of 78. The news was confirmed to The Daily Mail via a statement revealing the star passed away on Saturday, 22 April. “I can confirm he died peacefully over the weekend surrounded by his family,” the statement read. Goodman is believed to have died in a hospice in Tunbridge Wells from bone cancer.
Goodman is perhaps best known for appearing as the head judge on BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” from its launch in 2004 until 2016. His trademark catchphrase, “Seven!” became Saturday TV gold. He grew up want in London and began his career as an apprentice welder with dreams of becoming a footballer. He didn’t actually start dancing until the age of 20 when it was recommended by his doctor to help with an injury. He fell in love with dance and became professional, winning the World Exhibition Championships in the early 1970s, amongst other high-profile competitions. Dapper in appearance, his no-nonsense attitude and kind demeanour scored him legions of fans as he appeared on prime-time TV. As well as “Strictly”, he starred on the US version of the show, “Dancing With the Stars“, from 2005 to 2022.
Tributes came flooding in for the entertainment icon. Piers Morgan tweeted: “More very sad news from the world of entertainment… RIP Len Goodman, 78 – welder, dancer, judge, and devoted cricket & West Ham fan. Always had a laugh with Len, and swapped a few strong opinions. A quintessential Londoner and a top bloke.” While “Strictly” contestant Dan Walker added: “So sad to hear about the death of Len Goodman. He was an incredible man & an extraordinary talent. Loved making telly with him, being daft with him, playing golf with him & will never forget the little tips he would send every week on Strictly. All my love to his family”. He leaves behind his wife Sue, who he married in 2012, and son James.