Who Was Len Goodman?
Born in Woolwich, southeast London, Len Goodman’s initial passion was football. An unfortunate foot injury shifted his trajectory towards the world of dance when he took it up as a form of rehabilitation at the age of 19. This fateful decision would lead to a remarkable journey in dance and a legacy that few can parallel.
Len Goodman: Important Details at a Glance
|Birthplace||Woolwich, southeast London|
|Start of Dance Career||1963, at age 19, following a foot injury|
|Major Dance Achievements||British Exhibition Championships, World Exhibition Championships|
|Retirement from Competitive Dancing||Late twenties, after winning the British Championships at Blackpool|
|Teaching Endeavour||Founded Goodman Dance Academy in Dartford|
|Television Debut||‘Strictly Come Dancing’, BBC, 2004|
|US Television||Judge on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ from 2005-2022|
|Signature TV Moment||Scoring announcement: “seven!”|
|Personal Relationships||Married to Cherry Kingston (1972-1987), son James with Lesley (1981), Married to Sue Barnett (2012)|
|Cause of Death||Prostate cancer which spread to his bones|
From Football to Ballroom: What Changed?
A seemingly career-ending foot injury for a young football enthusiast brought Len to the dance floor. In an ironic twist, his foot injury wasn’t an end but a beginning. He commenced his professional dancing journey in 1963, marking the start of a career that would span decades and touch many lives.
What Were Goodman’s Dancing Achievements?
Goodman’s talent was undeniable. From winning the British Exhibition Championships to the World Exhibition Championships, his dancing prowess was recognized globally. His crowning moment came when he won the British Championships at Blackpool in his late twenties.
How Did Len Goodman’s Teaching Career Start?
Following his retirement from competitive dancing, Goodman’s love for the craft led him to establish the Goodman Dance Academy in Dartford. This academy would soon become a beacon of learning for aspiring dancers, shaping the next generation.
Len’s Transition to Television: How Did it Happen?
Len’s charismatic personality was not just limited to the dance floor. When BBC introduced ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in 2004, Goodman emerged as one of its defining faces. His presence was often attributed as one of the key reasons behind the show’s resounding success. And it wasn’t just the UK audience; the US equally embraced him when he judged “Dancing with the Stars” from 2005 to 2022.
What Made Goodman Stand Out on Strictly?
Beyond his vast knowledge, it was Len’s infectious enthusiasm that endeared him to many. His signature one-liners and the iconic score announcement “seven!” became synonymous with the show, and are still fondly remembered by fans.
How Did Colleagues React to Len’s Passing?
Craig Revel Horwood, a fellow judge, reminisced about their time together, dubbing him as “Goody Goodman”. Bruno Tonioli remembered their shared adventures across hundreds of shows. Not just colleagues, Len’s impact was evident in tributes from friends like TV presenter Angela Rippon, who celebrated his fair judgment and fun nature.
Len Goodman’s Personal Life: Who Were His Loved Ones?
Len’s journey in dance intertwined closely with his personal life. He married his dance partner, Cherry Kingston, in 1972, although they later separated. With his next partner, Lesley, he welcomed a son, James, who also pursued ballroom dancing. In 2012, he married Sue Barnett, a dance teacher and his partner of a decade.
What Was the Cause of Len Goodman’s Death?
In the days leading to his 79th birthday, Len was admitted to a hospice in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Tragically, prostate cancer, a prevalent ailment among men in the UK, took him away. It’s reported that the disease had progressed, spreading to his bones.
Remembering Len Goodman
Len Goodman’s legacy isn’t just in his dance moves or TV appearances. It’s in the countless lives he touched, both on and off the dance floor. As tributes pour in, one thing is clear – Len Goodman’s influence in the world of dance and television will be cherished for generations to come.