“Dancing With The Stars” is losing another of its longtime fixtures. Len Goodman, the head judge of the celebrity dance competition series, will leave the program after the conclusion of its current season, the first one on Disney+.
Goodman, a professional ballroom dancer, has served as the head judge of “Dancing With the Stars” since it first debuted on ABC in 2005. In addition, from 2004 to 2016, he was the head judge of “Strictly Come Dancing,” the British competition series “DWTS” was first adapted from. As host Tyra Banks mentioned during Goodman’s penultimate episode on Monday, Goodman has judged more than 3,000 routines during his tenure on the program.
“Whilst we’re all getting excited and looking forward to the finale next week, it will also be with a touch of sadness. This will be my last season judging ‘Dancing With the Stars,’” Goodman said, to gasps from the live studio audience and a standing ovation from his fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Derek Hough. “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. It’s been such a wonderful experience for me and I look forward so much to next week’s finale. I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely brilliant.”
Goodman’s exit from the series marks the latest in a series of shakeups for “Dancing With The Stars” since longtime hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews abruptly exited the series in 2020. The two, who hosted the program together since Season 18, were replaced by “America’s Next Top Model” creator Banks starting with Season 29, in an apparent creative refresh for the long-running series. Alfonso Ribeiro, who previously appeared with Banks in the fourth season of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” joined the series as co-host for its ongoing Season 31.
Season 31 also saw the show move from its longtime home at ABC to Disney+, becoming the streamer’s first live series, with original showrunner Conrad Green returning to the position after leaving the show during Season 18.
Watch Goodman’s announcement below.