Leonard Gordon Goodman is a professional ballroom dancer, dance judge, and coach from England who was born on April 25, 1944. From its inception in 2004 until 2016, he served as head judge on the television dance competitions Strictly Come Dancing, where a variety of celebrities compete for the glitter ball trophy, and Dancing with the Stars. In Dartford, Kent, he also oversees a ballroom dancing school.
Len Goodman, Who?
On April 25, 1944, in Bromley, Kent, a TV personality named Len Goodman was born. He is now 78 years old. He was born and raised in London’s Bethnal Green, and at age six, his family relocated to Blackfen.
Len started dancing at the age of 19 and participated in events all throughout the country, winning a number of them in his late twenties. Before Len retired in the early 1970s, the dancer and his partner Cherry won the British Exhibition Championships four times.
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On April 25, 1944, in the Bethnal Green neighbourhood of East London, England, Len Goodman was born. He relocated to London’s Blackfen neighbourhood with his family when he was six years old. He afterwards attended Falconwood’s Westwood Secondary Modern School. Goodman participated in the school cricket team there.
Dance-Related Career Beginnings
Contrary to the majority of professional dancers, Goodman started dancing only quite recently. When his doctor advised dancing as a therapeutic activity to treat a foot injury, he didn’t start working in the area until he was 19 years old. This was fortunate because Goodman went on to win titles at numerous professional events shortly after. When Goodman was in his late 20s and had won the British Championships, he gave up dancing.
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Watch “Strictly Come Dancing”
When Goodman was named chief judge of the BBC reality dance competition programme “Strictly Come Dancing” in 2004, a new chapter in his career began. Professional dancers fight for a top reward in the programme with celebrities. The couples, who primarily dance in ballroom and Latin styles, are graded by a panel of judges.
Goodman shared the panel with Arlene Phillips, Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli, Alesha Dixon, and Darcey Bussell from his time on the programme through 2016. On the 2016 Christmas Day special, he made his last appearance. The next year, Shirley Ballas took Goodman’s post as chief judge.
How Did Len Goodman Become Well-Known?
As the chief judge of the BBC dancing competition programme Strictly Come Dancing, Len established himself. With his witty one-liners and lighthearted interaction with the competitors, the judge quickly won over the audience.
Fans also appreciated his humorous pronunciation of SE-VEN! On the American version of Strictly, Dancing With The Stars, Len serves as the head judge
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Who Took Len Goodman’s Position on Strictly Come Dancing, and Why?
After 12 years, the 78-year-old former ballroom dancer retired, and in 2016, he made his farewell appearance on the Christmas Day programme. Len disclosed that he made the decision to step down from his position as the UK show’s main judge in order to enjoy his latter years.
The Sun reported that Len would be replaced as the chief judge for the upcoming series by Latin Ballroom champion Shirley Ballas. A source informed The Sun that Shirley, a former judge on the American version of Dancing with the Stars, was “very natural” during her Strictly Come Dancing audition.
Early in 2009, Goodman had a prostate cancer diagnosis; he later underwent successful treatment in London. He later had a minor operation for face melanoma in 2020.
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Goodman married Cherry Kingston in 1972, and they later divorced in 1987. After that, he had a long-term relationship with Lesley, with whom he had a child named John. After Goodman and Lesley’s ultimate divorce, John moved home with his mother. After dating dancing instructor Sue Barrett for more than ten years, Goodman wed her in 2012.
West Ham United, a team in the Premier League, is well-known to have many ardent supporters in Goodman. He played in a celebrity cricket match in 2009 because he is a huge cricket lover.