After months of speculation about who should replace Len Goodman on Strictly Come Dancing (Anton Du Beke? Or Arlene Phillips? Or should it be Karen Hardy?), former judge Alesha Dixon has stepped forward with a novel suggestion: leave Len’s seat vacant.
The musician and TV personality, who has previously ruled out making her own return to Strictly five years after quitting the judging panel, told RadioTimes.com that Len was simply irreplaceable.
“Well personally I think they should just continue with the three of them,” she suggested. “They do that on the American one so I don’t see why they couldn’t do that in the UK.
“You can’t really replace Len, can you? So they might as well just carry on with the three and I think it will work just as well.”
Paying tribute to her 72-year-old former co-judge, Alesha added: “I think it’s the end of an era, which is really sad. When you think of Strictly you think of Len.”
The regular judges on Dancing with the Stars (America’s version of Strictly) are head judge Len, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli, though they have sometimes been joined by a fourth judge.
But while Len has already hung up his se-VEN paddle in the UK after the Christmas special, he will actually be sticking with Dancing with the Stars for at least one more year, having committed himself to a two-year contract.
For her part, Alesha is now the host of ITV’s new entertainment show Dance Dance Dance, which will see celebrities recreate dances from classic music videos. Instead of pro dancers, the celebs will be partnering with their husbands, girlfriends and best friends – and it’s a world away from dancing the Paso Doble or the American Smooth.
Actress and dancer Chrissy Brooke performs as Britney Spears in ITV’s Dance Dance Dance
Forget the charming amateurism of Jeremy Vine or Ed Balls: Dance Dance Dance is for celebrities who can already dance, like EastEnders actor Jonny Labey and TOWIE star Jessica Wright.
Their performances will be judged by Diversity’s Ashley Banjo and top choreographers Tina Landon and Timor Steffens.
Dance Dance Dance launches at 6.30pm on Sunday 8th January on ITV