‘Dancing with the Stars’ Chief Judge Len Goodman Announces Retirement


“Dancing with the Stars” judge Len Goodman announced his retirement on Monday night’s show.

The 78-year-old is stepping down as head judge of the dance competition after joining in 2005 for the first season. Goodman shared that he plans to spend more time with his grandchildren in the UK during his retirement.

“To do a live show, you have to be on top of your game and react quickly. And as you get older, things start to get harder,” Goodman told People magazine.

He continued, “I will miss the California sun, working with my fellow judges and the camaraderie with everyone on the show. I will miss seeing celebrities become dancers and being part of one of the most successful shows ever. I will miss television.”

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“Dancing with the Stars” chief judge Len Goodman announced his retirement on Monday night’s show.
(Getty Pictures)

“I haven’t fallen asleep or started dribbling in the series yet, so I thought it best to go before I started!”

During the show’s first season, Goodman was joined by Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. Both judges still sit on the panel after 31 seasons.

Goodman – who was originally a British ballroom dancer – began his career on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, a UK version of ‘Dancing with the Stars’.

Len Goodman served as a judge on "DWTS" since the first season.

Len Goodman has been a judge on “DWTS” since season one.
(Christophe Willard)

Goodman went on to say that “the majority of Americans were convinced that no one would be interested in watching ballroom dancing and that it would be a flop”.

“How they were wrong!” he stated.

“DWTS” was on ABC for 30 seasons before the show moved to Disney+ for its 31st season. Goodman did not judge season 21, but returned for seasons 22-28.

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He took another hiatus in season 29, but returned for season 30 before announcing his retirement in the 31st season.

Goodman shared some of his most memorable moments judging the show over the years to the point of sale. “When I got to dance the Viennese Waltz – albeit briefly – with Derek Hough’s famous partner, Nastia Liukin,” Goodman said. “Dancing to a song sung live in the studio by Leela James [‘Fall For You’] brought back such happy memories of my past as a dancer.”

Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli have all served as judges on "Dancing with the stars" since the first season.

Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli have all served as judges on “Dancing with the Stars” since season one.
(Eric McCandless/ABC)

He continued: “Meeting some of the great artists who sang on the show such as Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Stevie Wonder, Etta James, Rod Stewart, Gladys Knight, to name a few…and meeting some of my sports heroes, who either appeared on the show or watched in the audience, from the world of baseball, football, boxing, skiing, racing car driving and ice skating.”

“I had so much fun recording ‘Dance Center’ for a few years with Kenny Mayne and Jerry Rice. It always took twice as long as it should have to record because we kept laugh!” Goodman added.

Ultimately, Goodman is looking forward to spending time with his family during his retirement.

“Retirement feels like more time to be with family and friends and enjoy the grandkids while they’re still young and don’t answer me!” Goodman shared.

Len Goodman shared his intention to spend more time with his family during his retirement.

Len Goodman shared his intention to spend more time with his family during his retirement.
(Getty Pictures)

He told the outlet that he was grateful for all the experiences in his “Dancing with the Stars” career.

“Throughout 31 seasons there have been some fantastic dances, and part of my retirement will be digging up the DVDs I’ve been fortunate enough to receive over the years and reliving the memories of past outstanding performances – the good, bad and ugly,” he said.

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Goodman added: “I’m sure there are a lot of people who are happy that I’m leaving, but hopefully there will be some who will be sad as well.

“I was blessed with wonderful luck and I can’t thank everyone who has helped me along the way enough,” he continued. “Big shout out to the hair, make up, wardrobe and the entire crew who all played their part in making ‘Dancing With Stars’ a hit – it was truly a wonderful experience to have. Hasta la look baby!”


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