Len Goodman quits US version of Strictly Come Dancing

10 seasons are enough for Len as the 71-year-old dancing expert steps down to focus on Strictly and his family in the UK

Len Goodman is swapping life as a jet-setting judge on both Strictly Come Dancing and its US counterpart Dancing With the Stars for a quieter existence.

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The 71-year-old dancing expert has decided to step down from DWTS after 10 years as the show’s head judge.

“Len will not be returning as a judge this season on Dancing with the Stars due to his schedule as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing in the UK and the birth of his new grandson. He still might be involved in the season at some capacity, but we will have to wait and see. We are planning on having great guest judges for some shows to join Bruno [Tonioli], Carrie Ann [Inaba] and Julianne [Hough], and I’m sure we will see Len in the ballroom again soon,” showrunner Rob Wade said in statement.

Goodman has been a frequent flier over the last decade, hopping between the Strictly studio and Los Angeles where Dancing With the Stars is filmed, sometimes twice a week when filming for the two shows overlapped.

He admitted last year that his schedule was all getting a bit much and that he wanted time to focus on family life, saying, “I just need a bit of time off to get on with a normal life… I’ve got my wife, I’ve got my son, my mother is still alive and she’s in hospital – I’ve had virtually no time to go and visit her.”

His fellow judge Bruno Tonioli will continue to appear on both Strictly and DWTS, which celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year, but he’ll be commuting across the Atlantic on his own when the 21st season kicks off on 14th September.

As more celebrities continue to be added to the 2015 line-up, Goodman will now be preparing himself for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, and presumably looking forward to a much shorter commute to the office…

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 next month

Robin Windsor, Alex Jones, Bruce Forsyth and other former Strictly stars will be at the Radio Times Festival this September Tickets are available here.

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