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Len Goodman Leaving Dancing With the Stars After 17 Years

The 78-year-old will depart the show at the end of Season 31.
  • Len Goodman on Dancing With the Stars. (Photo: Disney+)
    Len Goodman on Dancing With the Stars. (Photo: Disney+)

    This season of Dancing With the Stars will be Len Goodman's last. 

    The 78-year-old announced last night that he would be retiring from his position as head judge on the long-running dance competition series. Goodman received a standing ovation from the ballroom when he dropped the news during Monday's show, revealing that he would be departing the series at the end of Season 31. 

    "It’s been a huge pleasure to be a huge part of such a wonderful show," Goodman said, adding that he wants to spend more time with his family. "I cannot thank you enough... It has been such a wonderful experience for me. I’m looking forward to next week’s finale. I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely brilliant."

    Goodman first joined Dancing With the Stars as head judge for its inaugural season in 2005, fresh off his career as a professional ballroom dancer in England. He took a break for Seasons 21 and 29, but has judged all other seasons of the series. 

    "Doing a live show you have to be at the top of your game and quick to react. And as one gets older, then things start to get more challenging," Goodman told People. "I haven't fallen asleep or started dribbling yet on the show, so I thought it's best to go before I start to do so!"

    "I will miss the California sunshine, working with my fellow judges and the camaraderie with everyone on the show," he added. "I'll miss seeing the celebrities developing into dancers and I will miss being part of one of the most successful shows on TV."

    Dancing With the Stars is streaming on Disney+.

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    Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.

    TOPICS: Dancing with the Stars, Disney+, Len Goodman