'Strictly Come Dancing' ex-judge Len Goodman backs Anton

Len Goodman
Len Goodman is now a judge on Dancing with the Stars in the US. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman has praised the decision to have Anton du Beke as judge, following the news that Bruno Tonioli is not able to join the panel.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Len said: "I think it's wonderful. I think it's an inspired choice. He did a couple of weeks, didn't he, last year. I thought he did an excellent job."

He added that Anton's experience teaching celebrities how to dance would help him in the role, saying: "And, you know, he's the only one who's gone through the process of teaching people to dance, so he knows what he's up to."

Len Goodman left Strictly Come Dancing in 2016, making a final appearance in the Christmas special of that year. He was part of the show for 12 years, judging alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, and Bruno Tonioli.

Bruno also judges US dancing competition Dancing With The Stars alongside Len, and ongoing restrictions meant that producers decided it wouldn't be safe for him to travel between the UK and US for judging responsibilities. 

When it was announced that Anton would replace Bruno, he said: "Whilst I am gutted to not be on the show this year there is one person and one person only that could take my place — it’s just a shame they weren’t available... haha! Darlings I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Seriously though, I have to tell you, Anton IS Mr Strictly and if anybody is filling in for me, it has to be him. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so excited to see him waggle his paddle."

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Anton will be judging Strictly Come Dancing 2021 alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse, with a line-up of celebrity contestants to be confirmed in due course. Last year it was comedian Bill Bailey and partner Oti Mabuse who lifted the glitterball trophy, but who will be following in their footsteps?

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress