Strictly judge Len Goodman hints at leaving Dancing With The Stars

Strictly’s Len Goodman has hinted that he will bow out of US show Dancing With The Stars.

Len, 72, is on his final Strictly Come Dancing this year and said he wanted to go before viewers accuse him of getting “dithery”.

But the head judge has now said he expects to leave the hit American show too.

Len Goodman (Ian West/PA Archive)
Talking about his decision to quit Strictly, he told ITV’s This Morning: “I have done 12 years and I just felt this is a good time to hang up my dancing shoes and pursue other things if they turn up.”

Asked why he was still doing the US show, he suggested he would stop doing Dancing With The Stars when his contract ends.

“That’s because of the contract,” he said.

“The BBC, you just sign an annual contract so they can chuck you out or … you can leave.

“But in America, I had to do a two-year contract so I’ve done one and I’ve got another year on that.”

Craig Revel Horwood and Len Goodman (David Jones PA Archive/PA Images)
Len also told This Morning that he had warned Ed Balls before his Strictly exit that he had been lucky.

“Poor old Ed. He was so much fun. I bumped into Ed just before he went home. I shouldn’t have said it. I said ‘You’ve been like a cat with nine lives but it’s week 10′.”

He added: “It would have been an injustice if Danny (Mac) or one of those had left and Ed stayed.”

Len said he had “no input” at all on who would follow in his own Strictly footsteps.

Ed Balls and Katya Jones (BBC)
“It’s all down to the producers.

“For me, I would hope it will be somebody that’s done ballroom and Latin.

“Darcey’s (Bussell) wonderful … I love Bruno (Tonioli) because of his exuberance and passion, he’s wonderful. Craig’s (Revel Horwood) a little bit finickity, you know ‘Your thumb was up’, whatever, I think the balance of the judges is terrific.

“You need one who’s done ballroom and Latin to talk about heels and toes.”

Len denied he had put forward Helen Richey, an Australian-born ballroom and Latin professional, for the role.

“I know Helen Richey, I haven’t seen her for 40 years… ” he said.

The Strictly judges (BBC)
“I’ve never seen her critique anything … so how would I know whether she’s good, bad? … I have no clue at all who it will be.”

Len said he might regret leaving Strictly, but he had to go with his heart.

“I’m sure I will miss it, but you make a decision and it’s the right decision at the time,” he said.

“I’d much rather go and people say ‘Oh Len, it’s not going to be the same’ rather than people say ‘Thank heaven that old boy’s gone, he’s getting dithery’,” he added.

He said of this year’s contest: “It’s so close.

“This is the first year I can, hand on heart, say whoever wins is all right for me, because it’s such a great series.”

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