Len Goodman Dancing with the Stars Judge Dies Aged 78: Memorable Moments From Len Goodman’s Career

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Len Dancing with the Stars judge, has died at 78. And below are seven of the funniest and best moments from the career of the Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars judge.

The former professional dancer and Strictly Come Dancing head judge – Len Goodman passed away on Saturday surrounded by his family at a hospice in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England; he had bone cancer. The TV star died just three days before his 79th birthday.

The Strictly Come Dancing legend would have turned 79 tomorrow
The Strictly Come Dancing legend would have turned 79 tomorrow

Len began his career as a dancer more than five decades ago, initially taking up the sport as a kind of therapy for a foot injury. He then became a professional dancer before retiring and eventually became a household figure as the head judge on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2016.

As tributes pour in from all corners of the entertainment world, we look back at some of the most iconic moments from the famous “Dancing with the Stars” Judge’s career.

Latin Segue at the German Showdance Championships, 1971

Before Len became a household name as Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge, he was a professional dancer. Before his retirement from dancing in his late twenties, he took part in the German Showdance Championships in Baden Baden.

There he performed a Latin Seque with Cherry Kingston, another professional dancer who he would later marry. A video of the pair’s dance has resurfaced online and it is a testament to the star’s talent. Although Len retired around 50 years ago, he continued dancing until the end of his life.

1971 Len Goodman and Cherry Kingston Latin Segue at the German Showdance Championships

Dancing with the Duchess of Cornwall

In 2019, Len proved that he still had it when he was seen dancing with the then Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, at the 90th anniversary of the British Dance Council at London’s Victory Services Club, where Camilla is a patron.

He invited Camilla to dance at an event emphasizing the physical, mental, and social benefits of dancing, and she gladly accepted. Len said of the event: “What an honor, over the years I’ve danced with hundreds of girls and that is the most memorable one, she’s so nice and was charming and lovely.”

The touching clip shows the pair sharing a dance in September 2019 as part of the British Dance Council’s 90th Anniversary celebrations at London’s Victory Services Club.

Queen Camilla “is saddened” to hear the news of Len Goodman’s death, Buckingham Palace has said.

Rejecting Ally Brooke on Dancing with the Stars

Len appeared to lose his cool with contestant Ally Brooke in an awkward but memorable moment on the American television program Dancing with the Stars. He complimented her routine with her professional dance partner Sasha Farber, saying “I really enjoyed the performance”.

Len Goodman told Ally Brooke not to touch him on Dancing with the Stars
Len Goodman told Ally Brooke not to touch him on the show

In her excitement, Ally ran across to the judge’s table and gave Len a high five, but the judge was less than impressed. He said “Don’t get overwhelmed” before adding “Don’t touch me again”.Len’s attitude left Ally perplexed as he kept praising her performance as if nothing had happened.

Jerry Hall’s “downstairs” comments

When judging model Jerry Hall and her professional partner Anton Du Beke on the 10th season of Strictly, Len put his foot in his mouth with his off-the-cuff comments. He said: “I don’t know about Hollywood, it was a bit Upstairs Downstairs. There are still a few problems upstairs if I’m honest, with your posture.”

So far so good, but then Len added: “downstairs, you’re quite neat and tidy”, prompting giggles from the contestants, audience, and even his fellow judges. Len tried to backtrack, shouting “I’m talking about her footwork” as Anton called out “Somebody stops him”.

Strictly no swearing! BBC forced to apologize after Dancing with the Stars Judge lets the f-bomb slip live on air

Live TV is rife with perils, chief amongst them is the risk of swearing making it out before the watershed, which Len went on to prove on the 12th season of Strictly. After watching Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff’s Argentine Tango, he said: “Something about the atmosphere, the audience is behind everyone, the home of dance” before adding under his breath “F***ing hell.”

Alas, the curse was caught on his microphone prompting an apology from the show’s co-host Zoe Ball – she said: “I also would like to apologize, Len got a bit carried away with the excitement of the dance and I’m very sorry for the bad language”.

This Morning interview after leaving Strictly Come Dancing

Following his retirement from Strictly Come Dancing, Len joined Holly and Phil on the This Morning sofa to speak about the new series going ahead without him. He told the pair that watching the show without him as a judge felt like seeing an ex-girlfriend with another man.
He went on to add that he loves the show and when asked what he thought of his replacement Motsi Mabuse, he added in his strong cockney accent: “Well, I don’t know. She seemed alright don’t she, she’ll probably know her onions.”

This Morning stars Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield paid tribute to Len Goodman as news of his death aged 78 broke just before the show went on air on Monday.

Reflecting on the news, Schofield said: “We came on air to the saddest news. Len Goodman has died. That came as such a shock.

“Seveeern” from Len Goodman Dancing with the Stars Judge

This isn’t one moment, but rather scores of moments from across Len’s time on Strictly Come Dancing. The judge became known for his distinctive “seveeern” catchphrase. Each judge gives a score out of 10, so a seven from Len isn’t the highest possible, but it still makes candidates very happy.

Strictly Come Dancing former judge Len Goodman left the BBC show back in 2016
Strictly Come Dancing former judge Len Goodman left the BBC to show back in 2016

As news of the star’s death broke this morning, stars from across the TV world were left bereft and many have paid tribute to the legend – and rather than 7s, Len is getting 10s all around.