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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Nicole Vassell

Len Goodman announces retirement from Dancing with the Stars after 17 years as judge


Len Goodman has announced his departure from Dancing with the Stars after 17 years on the judging panel.

The British professional ballroom dancer and competition judge first joined the panel in its first season in 2005 and has served as head judge ever since.

For many years, Goodman also sat as head judge on the panel of the British original, Strictly Come Dancing, from its first year in 2004 until 2017.

On Monday night’s (14 November) edition of Dancing with the Stars, host Tyra Banks gave Goodman the floor to make a speech at the midpoint of the show.

“Whilst we all are getting excited and looking forward so much to the finale next week, it would also be with a touch of sadness as this will be my last season judging on Dancing with the Stars,” he began his statement, as surprised audience members gasped in the background.

He continued: “I’ve been with the show since it started in 2005 and it has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show but I’ve decided I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.”

He continued: “I cannot thank you enough, the family of Dancing with the Stars. It has been such a wonderful experience for me and I’m looking forward so much to next week’s finale, I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely brilliant.”

Len Goodman on Dancing with the Stars (Disney+)

This current season of the dance programme is also notable for featuring actor Selma Blair, who occasionally danced with a cane due to MS having an effect on her physical stability. She withdrew from the competition last month.

The remaining celebrity and professional partners set to compete in next week’s final are: Wayne Brady and Witney Carson, Charli D'Amelio and Mark Ballas, Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater. Shangela and Gleb Savchenko and Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy.

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