Strictly legend Len Goodman dies aged 78

Len Goodman, the former Strictly Come Dancing head judge, has died of cancer.

Goodman passed away aged 78 on Saturday (22 April) at a hospice in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, surrounded by his family. He had bone cancer.

The dance veteran was the head judge of ballroom dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing from its launch in 2004 to 2016. He was well loved among fans and contestants for his charm, as well as his dry sense of humour.

As well as Strictly, Goodman appeared as a judge on its US counterpart, Dancing With The Stars, from 2005 to 2022.

A statement from his manager, Jackie Gill, said: “It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78.

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

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Len Goodman began dancing at 19 years old, turning professional and winning various competitions shortly after. He retired after winning the British Championships at Blackpool in his late twenties.

Fellow Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood added his condolences to the deluge of tributes pouring across the internet for Goodman, crediting his “gorgeous colleague and dear friend” for memories that will “live with [him] forever.”

BBC Director-General Tim Davie has also acknowledged the star’s passing:

“Len Goodman was a wonderful, warm entertainer who was adored by millions. 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.”

Other mourners include Strictly co-host Claudia Winkelman and former contestant, Russell Grant, who was on the 2011 iteration of the series.

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