Len Goodman’s reason for leaving Dancing with the Stars

Len Goodman announces departure from Dancing with the Stars

Len Goodman, who rose to prominence on Strictly Come Dancing, has died aged 78.

The judging legend also appeared on Dancing with the Stars – the US version of the show – for an astonishing 20 seasons starting in 2005.

As tributes pour in for the dancing legend, the heartbreaking reason for his decision to depart from the hit dance show, which is filmed in LA, has been revealed.

Goodman announced in the semi-final episode of the 2022 season that he would be leaving in order to spend more time with his family in the UK.

He began: “This will be my last season judging Dancing With the Stars.

“I’ve been on 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 want to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.

“It’s been such a wonderful experience for me and I look forward so much to next week’s finale. I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely brilliant.”

Goodman’s first grandchild, Alice, is the daughter of his only son James and was born in 2015.

His grandson, Dan, was born four years later in 2019.

Speaking in May last year, Goodman said: “When you get to a certain age, you realise the most important thing is family.

“My son James and his wife Sophie are lovely, and I’ve got two wonderful grandchildren, Alice, seven, and Dan, three. They’re terrific.”

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Goodman’s death shocked friends and fans around the globe due to many being unaware he was ill.

His manager confirmed the cause of death as bone cancer and he died at a hospice surrounded by family in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

A spokeswoman for Goodman told MailOnline: “I can confirm he died peacefully over the weekend surrounded by his family.”

Goodman died on Saturday night – just six months into his retirement. He would have been 79 tomorrow.

He only started dancing aged 20, after his doctor recommended it to help him recover from a foot injury.

Goodman won several competitions, including the British championships, before retiring in his late 20s.

Before Dancing With the Stars, he served as the head judge on the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2016.

He then joined the US version of the series, for the first 20 seasons starting in 2005.

Goodman took a break from the show in season 21, citing family commitments and scheduling issues.

He also didn’t travel to the United States for season 29, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, though he did film video segments on various dance styles.

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