Len Goodman bids farewell to Dancing With The Stars after 17 years

‘I’ve had such a wonderful time’: Len Goodman, 78, is handed a Mirrorball Trophy and shown a touching farewell montage as he waltzes off Dancing With The Stars after 17 years

  • The British dancer joined the series during its very first season back in 2005 and has decided to leave to spend more time with his family in the UK
  • During the final, Len shared that he got the call to be on the first show in 2005 three days before it taped
  • He said: ‘It has been such a joy for me to have been part of Dancing with the Stars. It really has. I’ve had such a wonderful time’ 
  • Len started dancing at 19 and turned professional in his early 20s, winning several competitions before retiring in his late 20s
  • Several fans admitted they became emotional during the show’s tribute to Len as they reminisced on his time as a judge 

Len Goodman bid a final farewell to Dancing With The Stars on Monday as he departed the show after 17 years.

The British dancer, 78, joined the series as a judge during its very first season back in 2005 and has decided to leave to spend more time with his family in the UK.

Len was presented with his very own Mirrorball Trophy during season 31’s grand finale along with a montage of some of his best bits on the show. 

End of an era: Len Goodman bid a final farewell to Dancing With The Stars on Monday as he departed the show after 17 years

End of an era: Len Goodman bid a final farewell to Dancing With The Stars on Monday as he departed the show after 17 years

The series played clips of the star from his first season along with a hilarious clip from 2009 where he went shirtless while sporting a large gold chain necklace.

Snaps of Len teaching dance classes back in 1973 were also shown as fellow judge Derek Hough gave him a hug. 

Several fans admitted they became emotional during the tribute to Len as they reminisced on his time as a judge.

One fan wrote: ‘The Len tribute wow! So much to look back on, he has changed, giving a 2, the smaller judges table, all his fun memories, now that was a worthy moment due for his time on the show’.

Throwback: During the season 31 finale, the show played several throwback clips of Len including a hilarious segment of him shirtless in 2009

Throwback: During the season 31 finale, the show played several throwback clips of Len including a hilarious segment of him shirtless in 2009 

'We will miss you': The British dancer, 78, joined the series as a judge during its very first season back in 2005 and had decided to leave to spend more time with his family in the UK

‘We will miss you’: The British dancer, 78, joined the series as a judge during its very first season back in 2005 and had decided to leave to spend more time with his family in the UK

Another said: 31 seasons. An OG. LIVING LEGEND. Such an icon! LOVE YOU LEN!

‘Thank you for entertaining us for all these years and being a staple point in one of the bonding moments w my grandma Bev. CAN’T STOP CRYING’. 

Another heartbroken viewer wrote: ‘Len is so adorable I love his smile, going to miss him next season’. 

One fan added: Len’s GENUINE excitement and appreciation at getting his own mirrorball trophy. An end of an era! Enjoy retirement, Len! You deserve it!’

Honour: Co-host Alfonso Ribeiro gave the judge his very own Mirrorball Trophy as the cast and crew bid him farewell

Honour: Co-host Alfonso Ribeiro gave the judge his very own Mirrorball Trophy as the cast and crew bid him farewell

Emotional: Len was embraced by fellow judge Derek Hough as the audience applauded him

Emotional: Len was embraced by fellow judge Derek Hough as the audience applauded him

Len said: 'It has been such a joy for me to have been part of Dancing with the Stars. It really has. I've had such a wonderful time'

Len said: ‘It has been such a joy for me to have been part of Dancing with the Stars. It really has. I’ve had such a wonderful time’

During the final, Len shared that he got the call to be on the first show in 2005 three days before it taped.

‘I’m just a dance teacher from Dartford. Suddenly I’m thrust into Hollywood,’ he said. ‘I got a reputation of being the tough judge because what I see is what I say.’

Co-host Alfonso Ribeiro then gave the judge his very own Mirrorball Trophy as the cast and crew bid him farewell. 

‘That is fantastic,’ Len said. ‘It has been such a joy for me to have been part of Dancing with the Stars. It really has. I’ve had such a wonderful time and this is absolutely the cherry on the cake.’

The other judges then held up their 10 score cards for Len. 

Memories: Snaps of Len teaching dance classes in the UK back in 1973 were shown

Memories: Snaps of Len teaching dance classes in the UK back in 1973 were shown

Last minute: During the final, Len shared that he got the call to be on the first show in 2005 three days before it taped

Last minute: During the final, Len shared that he got the call to be on the first show in 2005 three days before it taped

Back in the day: Len was a judge on the first season in 2005 alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli

Back in the day: Len was a judge on the first season in 2005 alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli 

The dancer first appeared as a head judge on Strictly Come Dancing in the UK in 2004, the originator of the Dancing With The Stars franchise.

He joined the American version the following year and left Strictly in 2016, allowing him to focus more on Dancing With The Stars. 

The first season had just six celebrities taking part, with Len serving on the panel alongside Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba. 

He did not appear as a judge during seasons 21 and 29 but he did present short segments on dance styles during the latter season. 

Reaction: Several fans admitted they became emotional during the tribute to Len as they reminisced on his time as a judge

Reaction: Several fans admitted they became emotional during the tribute to Len as they reminisced on his time as a judge

Len revealed on Monday’s semi-final episode on Disney Plus that he was leaving the show to spend more time with his family.

He said: ‘While we’re all getting excited and looking forward to the finale, it will also be wth a touch of sadness as this will be my last season juding on Dancing With The Stars. 

‘I’ve been on the show since it started in 2005, and it has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show but I’ve decided I want to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.’

He served as the head judge Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2016 and Dancing With the Stars for the first 20 seasons starting in 2005.

Len added: ‘It’s been such a wonderful experience for me and look forward so much to next week’s finale. I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely brilliant.’

Len started dancing at 19 and turned professional in his early 20s, winning several competitions before retiring in his late 20s after winning the British Championships.

Retirement: Len revealed on Monday's semi-final episode on Disney Plus that he was leaving the show to spend more time with his family

Retirement: Len revealed on Monday’s semi-final episode on Disney Plus that he was leaving the show to spend more time with his family

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