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Len Goodman's Biography

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Who was Len Goodman?

Len Goodman injured his foot playing football and was told his bones would never heal well enough for him to be a professional footballer.

And so, Len Goodman turned towards ballroom dancing and became first a professional dancer and then a professional dance judge and teacher.

Len Goodman won the British Exhibition four times and was the runner up in the Exhibition World Championships.

Len Goodman ran a couple of dance schools in Kent and he told the Telegraph about the impact of Strictly Come Dancing, on which he is the senior judge:

"I run two dance schools and we've had an increase in business of around 40 per cent since Strictly Come Dancing started ..."

As well as being a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, Len Goodman also judged the equivalent TV show in the USA, Dancing With The Stars.

The Strictly Come Dancing producers had the other three judges, Craig Revel Horwood, Arlene Phillips, and Bruno Tonioli in place before appointing Len Goodman, after he was suggested by Erin Boag.

Len Goodman, who described himself as the 'star that never twinkled', was not short of a neat turn of phrase or two.

Regarding Roger Black in 2004, The Times review of Strictly Come Dancing quoted Goodman as saying: "The standing spin looked like you were kick-starting a motorbike."

In 2008, Len Goodman wrote an autobiography Better Late Than Never.

The Times did a good job of highlighting another excellent phrase of Len Goodman:

"Len Goodman has a phrase to connote flash without substance: 'all sizzle and no sausage'."

Len Goodman and his father shared the same full name Leonard Gordon Goodman.

In June 2009, Len Goodman had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour in his prostate gland.

In August 2009, the BBC reported that Len Goodman was to play a teacher at a village dance club in the British indy film Love/Loss.

In 2010 Len Goodman was commissioned to present his own series on dance music, Len Goodman's Dancing Years, to be broadcast on Radio 2 in November.

In December 2012, he married his long-term partner, dance teacher Sue Barrett.

He had been married before. At 28, he got married to his dance partner Cherry, but they broke up a few years later. He then had a long-term partner, Lesley, with whom he had a son James, who manages his dance school in Dartford.

On 13 July 2016, it was revealed that Len Goodman would step down as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing after the 2016 series.

In March 2017 it was announced that Len Goodman would host a new BBC One family game show called Partners in Rhyme.

The transmission date for the first of the six part series Partners in Rhyme was 19 August 2017.

In July 2017, the BBC revealed that Len Goodman earned over £200,000 from licence fee revenue in their financial year 2016/7.

He died in April 2023, aged 78.

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