Len Goodman dead: Tributes pour in for former Strictly Come Dancing judge

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman has died at the age of 78.
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Len Goodman has died at the age of 78. It is believed the former Strictly Come Dancing judge passed away peacefully in a hospice from a short illness surrounded by his family friends.

Goodman’s agent, Jackie Gill, said in a statement: "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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Goodman was the head judge of the BBC dancing show between 2004 and 2016. Viewers were fond of Goodman for his wealth of dancing knowledge and his wry humour. As well as the BBC show, Goodman also appeared on the US version of Strictly, titled Dancing With the Stars, from 2005 until 2022.

Born in London on April 25, 1944, Goodman started his working life as an apprentice welder at Harland and Wolff in Woolwich, and initially wanted to be a footballer. He then took up dancing at the age of 20 following advice from his doctor who said it would help his foot injury.

He then turned professional and took part in dancing competitions, winning the likes of Dual of the Giants, British Rising Stars, The British Exhibition Championships (four times) and the World Exhibition Championships in the early 1970s.

Following the news of his death, former Strictly contestants and co-stars have taken to social media to pay their respects.

Len Goodman has passed away at the age of 78Len Goodman has passed away at the age of 78
Len Goodman has passed away at the age of 78
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Dan Walker, who competed in the BBC competition in 2021 and joined Goodman for series Holiday of My Lifetime in 2020, said on Twitter: “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.”

Nuneaton Gang Show, a performance which Goodman was a part of in 2022, tweeted: “We are so sad to hear of the passing of Len Goodman. Len was a part of our show in 2022 and nothing was too much trouble for him, he was an absolute gent, he will be missed.”

The BBC’s Director-General Tim Davie said in a statement: “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.”

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Astrologer and former Strictly contestant Russell Grant tweeted: “The wonderful Len Goodman has left us. He was so kind and lovely to me when I was on @bbcstrictlyand we met on other programmes including his own, filmed at BBC Glasgow.

“The word legend is overused but Len and his 'SEVEN' became a catchphrase across UK & USA. A true character.”

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