Strictly star Len Goodman’s cause of death has been revealed

Former Strictly star Len Goodman’s cause of death has been revealed.

The dance expert, who served as head judge on the hit BBC series from its launch in 2004 until 2016, died days before his 79th birthday in April 2023, after being admitted to a hospice in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Tributes poured in for Goodman after his agent announced the star’s death, stating: “It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78. A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”

Now, it’s been reported by Daily Express that, according to Goodman’s death certificate, he died after his prostate cancer spread to his bones.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men in the UK, affecting approximately one in eight men during their lifetime.

As well as Strictly, Goodman was a judge on Dancing with the Stars, the US version of the competition from 2005 to 2022. He was replaced on Strictly after his 2016 departure by Shirley Ballas.

He announced his retirement from TV work six months before his death.

Born in Woolwich, southeast London, Goodman was an aspiring footballer as a youngster. He then worked as a welder for a while and started dancing in 1963, when he was 19, to aid his recovery from a foot injury.

This proved to be the start of a professional dancing career, which saw him compete in and win events including the British Exhibition Championships, and the World Exhibition Championships.

He retired from competing after winning the British Championships at Blackpool in his late twenties, before going on to found the Goodman Dance Academy in Dartford.

He became a much-loved figure on Strictly, and was considered one of the reasons behind its unexpected success when the competition debuted on the BBC in 2004.

Arlene Phillips and Len Goodman in the early days of ‘Strictly’ (BBC)
Arlene Phillips and Len Goodman in the early days of ‘Strictly’ (BBC)

Goodman was known for his one-liners and enthusiastic delivery of the score “seven!”, which is still often quoted by fans of the show.

His fellow judge and dance expert Craig Revel Horwood said of Goodman’s death: “I’ve just woken up to the sad news that my gorgeous colleague and dear friend Len Goodman has passed away. My heart and love go out to his lovely Sue and family.

“Len Goody Goodman is what I always called him and ‘It’s a 10 from Len and seveeeeern’ will live with me forever. RIP Len.”

Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli said: “I will treasure the memory of our incredible adventures and hundreds of shows we did together ... There will never be anyone like you. We will miss you.”

BBC director general Tim Davie described Goodman as being “at the very heart of Strictly‘s success”.

TV presenter Angela Rippon, who is a contestant on the latest series of Strictly, was friends with Goodman, and appeared alongside him on an episode Holiday Of My Lifetime With Len Goodman. Paying tribute on X/Twitter, Rippon said: “Dearest Len. That smile says it all. He was a great character. A fair head judge. And such fun to work with. Condolences to his family.”

Len Goodman (Getty)
Len Goodman (Getty)

The star married his former dance partner, Cherry Kingston in 1972. They divorced in 1987. He had a son, ballroom dancer James, with his next partner, Lesley, in 1981. He married his partner of 10 years, dance teacher Sue Barnett, in 2012.

You can find the full line-up and the pairings for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing here, as well as the talking points from the latest episode here.