Len Goodman: Tribute to 'witty and wonderful' Strictly judge

Len Goodman: Tribute to 'witty and wonderful' Strictly judge

April 26, 2023

EXCLUSIVE: Family of Len Goodman pay tribute to the ‘warm, witty and wonderful’ Strictly Come Dancing judge and launch charity fundraiser in his memory

  • Len Goodman passed away on Saturday aged 78 after a battle with bone cancer
  • His family have asked for those who knew Len to share stories and memories

National treasure Len Goodman’s family have paid tribute to him describing him as ‘warm, witty and wonderful’.

The legendary Strictly Come Dancing judge passed away with his family at his side on Saturday aged 78 after a battle with bone cancer.

In a tribute posted on the Facebook page for his son James’s, dance academy, the family said: ‘How we wish he was still here with us but we are so proud of what he achieved, the happiness he brought us all and the legacy he has left.

‘He was known to millions as the first Head Judge on Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing With The Stars but to many of us, who knew him personally, he was just “Lucky Len with the boyish grin”.

‘We know he has had an impact on many of you over the years as a friend, teacher, mentor and judge and so we have created this site for you to share your stories and memories of his life.

Len Goodman passed away with his family including his son James (pictured together) at his side on Saturday aged 78 after a battle with bone cancer

Len, who is best known as the legendary Strictly Come Dancing head judge, pictured with his young son James and his father Leonard

‘Len had four charities that were close to his heart that he had supported over the years and we hope that you would also consider making a donation, no matter how small, in his memory.’

The four charities were Kent based Hospice in the Weald, where Len is thought to have passed away, children’s charities Demelza and Variety and Age UK.

Father-of-two James, 42, was the son he had with long term partner Lesley a nurse, whom he had met in a pub in Dartford, Kent.

The two began a relationship and she gave up her career to bring up James and she and Len set up a dance school together.

But the long hours and living along led to the two growing apart and in 1993 they split up and she moved back to the Isle of Wight where she was originally from.

Len once said: ‘The trouble with me is I fall in love very easily. And the flip side of that of that is that I fall out of love just as easily.’

James later moved back to Kent to be near his father, while Lesley later moved to Turkey where she is still thought to be living.

Len Goodman, who his family described as ‘warm, witty and wonderful’, pictured with his grandson 

Len Goodman pictured with his wife Sue Barrett are shopping on New Bond Street in London

His partner Sophie Bird told MailOnline: ‘He’s up and down. One minute he is OK the next minute he isn’t.

‘It’s a very sad time for everyone. Len was loved by everyone.’

The fund in his memory stood at just over £600 but is expected to rise considerably in the next few days as donations flood in for the much loved TV star.


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