After 20 seasons on “Dancing With the Stars,” Len Goodman will quickstep away as a permanent judge on the long-running ABC competition series. Goodman’s departure comes as he’s set to concentrate on the U.K. version of “DWTS” across the pond, and spend more time with his family.
“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 U.K. and the birth of his new grandson,” said “DWTS” exec producer Rob Wade in an official statement. “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.”
The guest judges filling Goodman’s shoes have yet to be named, but a permanent fourth judge will not be appointed.
The news should not come as a huge shock, since talk of the judge’s departure has been circulating since last year and his exit was even anticipated before the previous season 20 — at the time, a source close to the show shut down those rumors, telling Variety that he would stay for the anniversary season.
Goodman has been a judge on “Strictly Come Dancing,” the U.K. version of “Dancing With the Stars,” since it first aired in 2004.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns with season 21 on Sept. 14.