Len Goodman, the beloved ballroom champion and longtime decide on Dancing with the Stars and its British counterpart Strictly Come Dancing, has died of bone most cancers at age 78.
Goodman died Saturday peacefully and surrounded by household at a hospice in Kent, England, his agent Jackie Gill informed the BBC. Goodman is survived by his spouse, son and two grandchildren.
“Len Goodman was a beautiful, heat entertainer who was adored by hundreds of thousands … and felt like a member of everybody’s household,” BBC Director-Normal Tim Davie mentioned in a press release. “He will probably be massively missed by the general public and his many family and friends.”
Goodman started his profession as knowledgeable ballroom dancer. He first began dancing on the age of 19, and, after successful the British Championships within the Seventies, retired in his late 20s to open a dance college.
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He made his method to tv — and worldwide fame — a number of many years later. Goodman was the top decide on the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” from its launch in 2004 till 2016, and on DWTS from 2005 till 2022.
He spent a number of years judging the British and American exhibits concurrently, “criss-crossing the Atlantic weekly,” the Related Press studies.
Goodman additionally received the Carl Alan Award (the “Oscars of the dance world”) in recognition of excellent contributions to bounce and wrote a number of books, together with his 2009 biography, Higher Late Than By no means: From Barrow Boy to Ballroom.
Goodman introduced his retirement from DWTS final November, on the finish of season 31 (he had served as a decide in all however two of them). He mentioned he needed to spend extra time along with his household and grandchildren again in Britain.
“Doing a dwell present it’s a must to be on the high of your recreation and fast to react. And as one will get older, then issues begin to get more difficult,” he informed Individuals journal shortly afterward. “I have never fallen asleep or began dribbling but on the present, so I assumed it is best to go earlier than I begin to take action!”
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Goodman added that a part of his retirement would come with digging by outdated DVDs to relive favourite recollections of seasons previous.
“I’ve had a beautiful run of excellent fortune and can’t thank everybody sufficient who assisted me alongside the best way,” he mentioned.
Goodman rose to fame in his later years
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Goodman grew up in London’s East Finish and spent his adolescence working at his father’s fruit and vegetable stand (“and being bathed at evening in the identical water they used to cook dinner the beetroot,” per his autobiography) after which as a welder within the London Docks.
A foot damage dashed Goodman’s desires of changing into knowledgeable soccer participant, however did introduce him into the world of ballroom dancing, after his physician urged he strive it as a part of his restoration.
Goodman danced professionally for a couple of decade, successful a number of championships along with his partner-turned-wife Cherry Kingston (they divorced in 1987, and he married dance instructor Sue Barrett in 2012).
However he did not grow to be a family identify till his 60s, when he began judging on Strictly Come Dancing and DWTS.
“I feel he was astonished and delighted by what had occurred to him at an age when dancers retire or have lengthy retired,” British broadcaster Esther Rantzen informed PA Media. “I feel it actually happy him that ballroom dancing had grow to be the flavour of the month, the nation had fallen in love with it once more.”
Rantzen mentioned she believes Goodman was so profitable within the U.S. partly as a result of “he was quintessentially British: agency however truthful, humorous however a gentleman.”
Goodman turned recognized for his colourful suggestions and distinct supply, from catchphrases like “pickle me walnuts” to his signature rating proclamations of “se-VEN” and, on uncommon events, “it is a 10 from Len.”
A few of his most memorable traces, as compiled by the AP and BBC, embody: praising a salsa-dancing couple as “like two scorching sausages on a barbecue,” telling a dancer that they had “floated throughout that ground like butter on a crumpet,” evaluating one contestant to “a stork who’d been struck by lightning” and one other to a chess grasp: “You plotted your means round that ground. That was a mango of a tango.”
Costars bear in mind Goodman as a gentleman
The British royal household and prime minister supplied their condolences on Monday, the BBC studies.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described Goodman as “an amazing entertainer, a well-liked face on TV screens up and down the nation.” Buckingham Palace mentioned that Camilla — a fan of the present who danced with Goodman at a 2019 occasion — was “saddened to listen to the information.”
Tributes are additionally pouring in from Goodman’s colleagues and followers, who’re remembering him for his wit, heat and integrity.
DWTS decide Carrie Ann Inaba shared a montage of photographs and movies of the 2 collectively on Instagram, calling him “A Dancer. A instructor. A refined gentleman. A beautiful storyteller. A particular soul. A mentor. A household man. And … A treasured good friend.”
“Saying goodbye on the finish of final season broke my coronary heart,” she wrote. “However at present’s information has shattered it another time. I can not imagine that you just’re gone.”
Bruno Tonioli, who has judged on each exhibits, referred to as Goodman his “pricey good friend and companion for 19 years, the one the one ballroom legend.”
He wrote on Instagram that he’s heartbroken over the loss and can “treasure the reminiscence of our unimaginable adventures and a whole bunch of exhibits we did collectively.”
Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman described him as “one in every of a form, a superb and sort man. Filled with twinkle, heat and wit.”
“Len Goody Goodman is what I at all times referred to as him and ‘It is a 10 from Len & seveeeeern’ will dwell with me without end,” Strictly Come Dancing decide Craig Revel Horwood tweeted.
Kristina Rihanoff, a former skilled dancer on Strictly Come Dancing, tweeted that Goodman will at all times be her favourite decide, calling him an “sincere & witty individual with integrity & respect for us — fellow dancers.”
British tv character Robert Rinder described Goodman as “a uncommon gentleman: Variety, charming, exacting, encouraging & danced like a dream.”
“RIP Len Goodman,” he added. “It is a 10 from us all.”
britain, dance, dancing with the celebs, tv, competitors,
In response to the usa at present:
“Dancing with the Stars” decide Len Goodman has died. He was 78.
“It’s with nice unhappiness to announce that Len Goodman has handed away peacefully,” his supervisor, Jackie Gill, confirmed to USA TODAY in a press release Monday.
Goodman died Saturday evening along with his spouse Sue Barrett and son James, from a earlier relationship, by his bedside, in keeping with Gill.
The previous ballroom dancer was a beloved husband, father and grandfather who will probably be missed by those that knew him, the assertion added.
He had beforehand been identified with bone most cancers.
Goodman, who was head decide of “Dancing With the Stars” since its 2005 premiere, introduced in November “with a contact of unhappiness” that the season could be his final on the decide’s panel after 17 years. The present moved to Disney+ within the fall of 2022 after 30 seasons on ABC.
It has been an enormous pleasure to be part of such a beautiful present,” he mentioned on the time. “However I’ve determined I would prefer to spend extra time with my grandchildren and household again in Britain. I couldn’t thanks sufficient, my ‘Dancing With The Stars’ household, it has been such a beautiful expertise for me.”
A former skilled ballroom dancer and British champion, Goodman was additionally head decide on “Strictly Come Dancing” for 12 years from its launch on the BBC in 2004. Like “DWTS,” the dance competitors pairs celebrities with skilled dance companions. It was a shock hit and has grow to be one of many community’s hottest exhibits.
For a number of years he judged the British and American exhibits concurrently every autumn, crisscrossing the Atlantic weekly.
Goodman’s pithy observations, delivered in a Cockney accent, endeared him to viewers. “You floated throughout that ground like butter on a crumpet,” he remarked after one foxtrot. He praised a salsa-dancing couple as “like two scorching sausages on a barbecue.”
British broadcaster Esther Rantzen mentioned Goodman had been “astonished and delighted” by his late-life fame.
“One of many causes he succeeded so effectively within the States is that he was quintessentially British,” she mentioned. “He was agency however truthful, humorous however a gentleman and I hope the nation will undertake his favourite expostulation of ‘pickle me walnuts.’”
Goodman additionally offered BBC radio packages and made TV documentaries, together with a 2012 program in regards to the sinking of the Titanic. As a younger man, Goodman had labored as a shipyard welder for the corporate that constructed the doomed ship.
BBC director-general Tim Davie mentioned Goodman was “a beautiful, heat entertainer who was adored by hundreds of thousands. He appealed to all ages and felt like a member of everybody’s household. Len was on the very coronary heart of Strictly’s success. He will probably be massively missed by the general public and his many family and friends.”
Goodman was additionally a recipient of the Carl Alan Award in recognition of excellent contributions to bounce, and owned the Goodman Academy dance college in southern England.