Len Goodman Dancing with the Stars shocker: 'this will be my last season'

Judge Len Goodman on Dancing with the Stars
(Image credit: Disney Plus)

The dance is almost over for Len Goodman after he announced that Dancing with the Stars season 31 will be his final season on the show. Goodman, who has been with the show since the first season, has decided to move on and focus on his family. 

“This will be my last season judging Dancing with the Stars,” he said during Monday’s semifinals show. “I’ve been on the show since it started in 2006, and it has been a huge pleasure to be part of such a wonderful show but I’ve decided I want to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.”

Goodman, 78, has been pulling double duty traveling back and forth between Los Angeles and the UK every season save for two. He missed the show in season 21 due to other commitments, and he didn’t travel to the US for season 29 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“It’s been such a wonderful experience for me and look forward so much to next week’s finale. I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely brilliant,” he said in conclusion as his fellow judges looked on in tears. 

The show is currently utilizing a four-judge system with Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough joining Goodman at the judges’ table. It’s unclear whether another judge will fill in for him or if the show will move forward with three judges. 

Goodman served as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing since the show began in 2004. Prior to his departure from the beloved UK dance competition, Goodman traveled between the US and UK to judge both shows. Pulling double duty wasn’t easy, but Goodman’s expertise was in high demand. Eventually, though, he decided to leave Strictly to focus full time on Dancing with the Stars

As the lead celebrity judge, Goodman cast a very calming presence at the judges’ table. He’s the recipient of the British Rising Star Award, the Carl Allen Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award in addition to being a four-time winner of the British Exhibition. Drawing upon his years and years of professional ballroom experience, Goodman also founded the Goodman Dance Academy where young dancers can practice their craft. 

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on Disney Plus.  

Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.