'Dancing With the Stars' Judge Dead - Fans Heartbroken


Len Goodman, a judge on the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” better known to Americans for his work on ABC’s U.S. version of the show, “Dancing With The Stars,” died Saturday at the age of 78.

He died of bone cancer, surrounded by family at a hospice facility, the BBC reported.

Goodman was a former welder who began dancing at the age of 19, the BBC said, because a doctor had recommended it as “good exercise” for an injured foot.

He served as head judge on “Strictly Come Dancing” from 2004 until 2016, and on “DWTS” for 15 years, retiring last fall to “spend more time with my grandchildren and family.”

Many expressed their sorrow at the news of his death, including members of the British royal family and government.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Labeled 'Delusional'; 'Irritated' About Not Being Wealthier than Other UK Celebs: Book

Camilla, the Queen Consort, was “saddened to hear the news,” to a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told the BBC.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said through a spokesman that Goodman was “a great entertainer, a popular face on TV screens up and down the country” who would be “be missed by many and our condolences go to his friends and family.”

Others who knew him shared their thoughts on social media.

Mom of 4 Found Hanged, Police Now Suspect a Staged Suicide After Strange Clue Emerges

“One of the reasons [Goodman] succeeded so well in the States is that he was quintessentially British,” British broadcaster Esther Rantzen told The Associated Press. “He was firm but fair, funny but a gentleman and I hope the nation will adopt his favorite expostulation of ‘pickle me walnuts.’”

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , ,
George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics