Len Goodman quits Dancing With The Stars to focus on Strictly and his grandson

Published Thursday, Aug 20 2015, 12:54 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Len Goodman has quit Dancing with the Stars, the US version of Strictly Come Dancing.

The 71-year-old had been a judge on the American competition since its inception ten years ago, juggling his commitments in LA with his judging role on Strictly.

But now he's stepping down from the US show.

Len Goodman, Dancing With The Stars, America
3 November

© Getty Images / Adam Taylor

A statement from the DWTS showrunner Rob Wade said: "Len will not be returning as a judge this season on Dancing with the Stars due to his schedule as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing in the UK and the birth of his new grandson

"He still might be involved in the season at some capacity, but we will have to wait and see. We are planning on having great guest judges for some shows to join Bruno [Tonioli], Carrie Ann [Inaba] and Julianne [Hough], and I'm sure we will see Len in the ballroom again soon."

Over the past ten years, Len has judged 20 series of Dancing With The Stars as, unlike the UK, it airs two series a year in the US. Strictly only airs once a year.

Len had explained in an interview last year that for ten weeks every year he would be flying between Heathrow and Los Angeles every week. He hinted at an exit from DWTS in December, after admitting he needed some time off to spend with family including his wife, son and mother, who was in hospital at the time.

His former co-judge on DWTS was Bruno Tonioli, who also judges on Strictly. Bruno admitted to Parade.com last year that the constant travelling during the autumn series of DWTS took its toll on the men.

"That means we have to fly back to London to do a live Saturday show here and we fly back to Los Angeles on Sunday for the show Monday. So it does take its toll. [Len] loves the show as much as I do, but obviously as you progress in your years, let's put it this way [laughs], it gets a bit harder to do. It's not the flight itself, but it's the eight-hour jet lag between London and Los Angeles."

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