Len Goodman to Exit ‘Dancing With the Stars’ at the End of Season 31

It’s the end of an era on “Dancing With the Stars.” Len Goodman, the head judge on the reality series, will be exiting after this season. He has been on the ABC-turned-Disney+ show since Season 1.

“This will be my last season judging ‘Dancing With the Stars,’” the judge, 78, said on Monday’s show. “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.”

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He continued, “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.”

Following his announcement, judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough became extremely emotional, all shedding a tear for the beloved judge.

Goodman was the head judge on BBC One’s dance competition “Strictly Come Dancing” from its 2004 debut until 2016. He became the head judge on the American adaptation, “Dancing With the Stars,” judging with Inaba and Tonioli when the show premiered in 2005. He did not appear as a judge in season 21 due to to scheduling and family commitments. In Season 29, he presented short segments on different dance styles, but did not travel to the U.S. amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Dancing With the Stars” could continue with three judges or bring in guest judges as they have in the past; Julianne Hough, who was a professional dancer on the shows from seasons 4 through 8, was a guest judge for multiple seasons and became a full-time judge on the panel from seasons 19 to 21.

The Season 31 finale of “Dancing With the Stars” airs on Disney+ on Monday, Nov. 21.

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