Who is Len Goodman? A Look at the Life and Career of the Dancing Legend

Len Goodman


Len Goodman is a household name in the world of dance, having spent decades as a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer. Best known for his role as a judge on the popular television shows Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars, Goodman has become a beloved figure to millions of viewers around the world. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Goodman’s life and career, exploring his early years, rise to fame, and legacy as one of the most respected figures in the dance community.

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Early Life and Career

Len Goodman was born in London in 1944 and began dancing at the age of 19. He quickly developed a passion for ballroom dancing and went on to become a successful competitor, winning numerous championships throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, Goodman retired from competition and focused on teaching and choreography. He also began appearing on television, serving as a commentator for various dance competitions.

Rise to Fame

Goodman’s big break came in the early 2000s, when he was invited to be a judge on the new BBC show Strictly Come Dancing. Goodman quickly became a fan favorite, thanks to his sharp wit, no-nonsense critiques, and infectious enthusiasm for dance. He remained with the show for 12 years, becoming one of its most beloved and recognizable figures.

Dancing with the Stars

In 2005, Len Goodman was invited to join the American version of Strictly Come Dancing, which was called Dancing with the Stars. Once again, he became a popular judge on the show, known for his insightful critiques and charming personality. Goodman remained with Dancing with the Stars for over a decade, becoming an integral part of the show’s success.

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Other TV Work

In addition to Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars, Goodman has appeared on a number of other television shows throughout his career. He has served as a judge on the UK shows Hole in the Wall and Dancing on Wheels, as well as the Australian show Dancing with the Stars. He has also hosted his own documentary series, Len Goodman’s Big Band Bonanza.

Personal Life

Goodman has been married twice and has two children. He is also a keen golfer and has written a book on the subject, entitled Len Goodman’s Golfing Miscellany. In 2017, Goodman announced that he would be stepping down as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

Legacy and Impact

Goodman’s impact on the dance community is immeasurable. Through his teaching, choreography, and television work, he has helped to popularize ballroom dancing and inspire countless people around the world to take up the sport. His no-nonsense approach to judging has also earned him a reputation as one of the most respected figures in the dance world.


Len Goodman is a true dance legend, with a career spanning over six decades. From his early days as a competitor to his role as a beloved judge on Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars, Goodman has left an indelible mark on the world of dance. Though he has retired from television work, his legacy lives on, inspiring generations of dancers to come.

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