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, before announcing his departure in 2022.
Tributes came flooding in for the entertainment icon. Fellow ex-"Strictly" judge, Bruno Tonioli posted a photo of the pair on Instagram with the caption: "Heart broken my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom legend #lengoodman passed away I will treasure the memory of our incredible adventures and hundreds of shows we did together @bbcstrictly @dancingwiththestars they will never be anyone like you we will miss you." While Craig Revel-Horwood added an image of him on the dance show judging panel on Instagram, writing: "I've just woken up to the sad news that my gorgeous colleague and dear friend Len Goodman has passed away. My heart and love go out to his lovely wife Sue and family. Len 'goody' Goodman is what I called him and "it's a ten from Len and seveeeeern" will live with me forever. Rest in peace Len". He leaves behind his wife Sue, who he married in 2012, and son James.