Len Goodman’s friend Gary Edwards is the favourite to be named Strictly’s head judge

The renowned ballroom giant is a childhood friend of Len’s and has danced with the likes of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston

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Gary Edwards is now even money to be named the new Strictly Come Dancing head judge, replacing his childhood friend Len Goodman when the show returns to BBC1 later this year.

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Bookies William Hill have cut odds on the “ballroom giant” from 6/4 to even that he will step into Len’s shoes, with Strictly pro Anton du Beke now 2/1 to land the job.

Edwards is most famous for his appearances on Dancing With the Stars: All Access, a spin-off show to the American version of Strictly.

The Essex-born dancer met Len Goodman in classes he attended from the tender age of seven and is now something of a ballroom legend, boasting 30 international titles including British Open Ballroom and British Open Latin.

Highlights of his career include dancing the cha cha with Michael Jackson, and serving as a dance teacher for the Royal Family of Brunei for six years. 

He has also danced with Janet Jackson, Barry White, Whitney Houston, MC Hammer, and many other music stars.

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Edwards’ impressive stature of 6’4” has earned him the nickname of “ballroom giant”, and according to him, Len Goodman’s ex-wife Cherry Kingston used to call him a “young Len”.