Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman dies 'peacefully' aged 78 after short illness

Len Goodman on the red carpet

Len Goodman has died aged 78

Paige Creaney

By Paige Creaney

Published: 24/04/2023

- 09:34

Updated: 24/04/2023

- 11:10

He died surrounded by his family

Len Goodman has died aged 78 from bone cancer, his agent has confirmed.

The Strictly Come Dancing judge passed away on Saturday night after spending time in a hospice in Tunbridge Wells following a short illness.

Agent Jackie Gill said in a statement: "It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78.

"A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him."

Judges Craig Revel Horwood Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli during a Strictly Come Dancing dress rehearsal

Goodman spent many years as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing


Goodman featured on Strictly from its launch in 2004 until 2016 and proved popular with viewers for his wry humour and avuncular critiques.

He became a much-loved figure on the show, and was considered one of the reasons behind its unexpected success when the competition premiered in 2004.

As well as Strictly, he also appeared on the US version of the show, Dancing With the Stars from 2005 until 2022.

He was born in 1944 in London, and began his career as a welder in Woolwich, before starting dancing in his late teens.

The star turned professional and won several competitions, and retired in his late twenties.

Mr Goodman had suffered two previous cancer scares - in 2009 when he was treated for prostate cancer, and in 2020 when he had surgery to remove a melanoma from his face.

He said he enjoyed his time on Dancing With The Stars, but added that he remembered some cultural confusion.

"Some of the things I came out with did confuse them [The Americans] a bit" he said.

Len Goodman

The star leaves behind his wife and only child, James William Goodman


"I remember saying: 'Give it some welly', and they said 'Willy? What's a willy?"

"But someone said to me, early doors: 'Be yourself, and be honest' and I've stuck to that, as much as you can.'"

The 78-year-old died just six months into his retirement and would have been 79 tomorrow.

He leaves behind his wife Sue Barrett and his only son, James William Goodman.

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