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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Victoria Johns

Strictly's Len Goodman quits Dancing with the Stars after 17 years for very sweet reason

Len Goodman has quit Dancing with the Stars after a sparkling 17 years.

The 78-year-old - who left his position as head judge on Strictly in 2016 - made his shock announcement during the semi-finals of the show in America on Monday (Nov 14).

Addressing the audience with a tear in his eye, he said: "Whilst we're all getting excited and looking forward so much to the finale next week, it will also be with a touch of sadness as this will be my last season judging on Dancing With the Stars.

"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."

The head judge continued: "I cannot thank you enough, the Dancing With the Stars family. It's been such a wonderful experience for me and I'm looking forward so much to next week's finale. I'm sure it's gonna be absolutely brilliant."

Len was immediately hugged by fellow judges Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli, who stood up and gathered around the professional ballroom dancer.

Len Goodman has quit Dancing With the Stars after 17 years (Walt Disney Television via Getty)

Fans flocked to Twitter soon after Len's announcement, with several telling the seasoned star how much they would miss him.

One wrote: "Len Goodman will always be one of the most iconic #DancingWithTheStars judges ever! I'm devastated to see him go & I hope he enjoys his retirement!"

Another gushed: "Thank you so much Mr. #LenGoodman for your hard work and dedication during all these years in "Dancing With The Stars" @officialdwts."

He told the audience he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren (ABC / BACKGRID)

While a third noted: "Len has been the only judge not to give in to favouritism or what the network/producers want. I’m happy for him but what a loss this is for a show that is struggling to hold on."

Len joined the British version of Strictly Come Dancing in 2005 and starred alongside Carrie Ann and Bruno for 31 seasons.

Len was also head judge on Strictly Come Dancing (BBC)

When he first joined the DWTS panel, the star was also head judge on Strictly before he left in 2006.

Opening up about the pressure of performing at the top level, Len told PEOPLE : "Doing a live show you have to be at the top of your game and quick to react. And as one gets older, then things start to get more challenging.

"I haven't fallen asleep or started dribbling yet on the show, so I thought it's best to go before I start to do so!"

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