Goodbye Len!(in 2017)


It feels a little odd to be writing a eulogy post for Len Goodman’s time on Strictly. Partly because he’s going to be working off a longer notice period than a nightshift worker, including all of the next series and probably the next tour as well. *If no longer interested in BREXIT humour, please skip the next two lines* : (The only departure process that’s planned to take longer is the United Kingdom leaving the European Union! And that’ll probably involve fewer dependent parts dropping off.)

Anyway, the other main reason it feels odd is that around here Len Goodman always enjoyed about the same level of popularity as Southern Rail or Liam Fox in a Tory leadership contest. Generally historically his vote in the end-of-series poll for favourite judge has hovered around 5% or lower, and one year he got beaten by Donny Osmond. Who appeared in one episode and was awful. One of the first running jokes of this blog was preceding Len’s name with an expletive, and not one of the cuter ones, and your narrator never quite got over how he spoke to Colin Jackson way back in Series 3.

Still, Len is undeniably part of Strictly, and has been since the very beginning, having missed only one episode ever, when his boots were ably filled by Jennifer Grey. Only Bruno and Craig have been a more consistan part of the line up of faces that have greeted the public every Saturday night in the winter. For a large part of the population, probably the same part that loved Bruce, loves Anton, writes letters into the Radio Times every time a male celebrity doesn’t wear tails, thought Alesha’s grammar was disgraceful, and will very definitely boycott the tv licence if they ever have a same-sex couple complete, Len is probably the very heart of Strictly. Or at least the pancreas. And to be fair, Len does serve a purpose. He’s the only judge to have real in depth knowledge of the ins and outs of ballroom and latin, lending the show an air of respectability and validity. Which Len then promptly farts right through by yelling about his walnuts/knicker elastic/bum in TESCOs, and/or producing critiques entirely consisting of the name of the song just danced to ham-fisted stitched between two other awful jokes like some sort of arhythmical Frankenstein’s Monster of puns. Still the air is enough, enough for people not to notice when they’ve sat through an entire finale featuring no traditional ballroom dances whatsoever, and still kid themselves this is a show about learning to dance proper like they did in the old times.

And now he’s gone. Off to America, to enjoy the sun, judge Dancing With The Stars, and occasionally phone in segments for Radio 2 documentaries about big band, leaving a vacancy on the judging panel. And as such…a poll! Who would you like to fill Len’s empty chair? I’ve stuck to feasible options, because I’m not a bookmaker who’s thirsty for attention, pretending it’s likely to be Alesha again.


24 thoughts on “Goodbye Len!(in 2017)

  1. Krumholtz

    Did you see the piece on the BBC website in which they inserted Ashley Banjo among the runners and riders for likely person to take over…

    I am suspicious they might have him already lined up. I am generally ok with this because he a) can dance b) can speak properly and c) choreographs oh and d) he looks like Ashley Banjo. However, I think he needs to come as a package with Karen Hardy to add ballroom knowledge. Therefore I say get rid of Darcey as well!

    1. monkseal Post author

      Darcey did say that she would leave when Len did, and I wouldn’t mind at all them holding her to it.

  2. BeyonceCastle

    Really? Wouldn’t mind him. Insert duelling banjo, banjo string jokes later…
    But Karen Hardy? Nooooooooo. Choreography corner was better with Jo.
    Ian would be fine (especially if Tess could be replaced by Zoe).
    But…and I didn’t like Bruce, don’t care about tails (although Jay’s jeans, nope) and would love a same-sex couple…but Anton can do it, has done it and deserves a shot at it. Or even Brenda for that matter.

  3. BeyonceCastle

    Ooh and Shirley Ballas would actually be terrific. Have heard her do the after show commentary for dwts and she knows her stuff.
    So…bin Len, Darcy, Bruno. Keep Craig, he can be head judge sod it, and have Shirley, Anton and Brenda on the panel. Then two newbie hot male pros.

  4. Laura

    I’m assuming Craig getting’s promoted to head judge then? This pleases me as I increasingly find myself agreeing with him…

  5. tabithakitten

    “your narrator never quite got over how he spoke to Colin Jackson way back in Series 3.”

    This is not good for my rage…

  6. Plinkiplonk

    Knowing this show, it’s going to be Kevin & Jo’s dad. At least he’s a ballroom/latin specialist…

    1. monkseal Post author

      There were enough paroxisms when Alesha had to “judge” Matthew I doubt they’d go that far, even for the Clifton Clan.

  7. ChaChaChavvy

    I’m beginning to get Series 7 vibes about the next series anyway (loads of new pros, proposed tweaks to the format, uninspiring celebrity rumours) so I’m not sure even more change is welcome. I still haven’t forgiven Len for putting Mark Wright through over Jake, for a bleedin’ contemporary rumba he clearly hated, but it would be nice for a proper ballroom person to be on the panel. In my fantasies it would be Iveta or Aliona but they always disappear the pros I like and keep the uninspiring ones, so that’ll never happen.

    Much as people complain about Anton, he has produced two of my favourite partnerships of the last two series and some of his choreography for Katie had a sophistication we rarely see on Strictly these days (I’d take his Telephone tango over a Gleb Special any day). When they allow him to be serious he does know what he’s talking about: however, they’re not going to encourage him to be serious, are they? It’ll be all catchphrases and bad puns.

  8. Huriye

    You mean, Len is actually moving to America permanently, and will continue judging on DWTS AFTER HE HAS LEFT STRICTLY?

    It’s an outrage of epic proportions, and he can no longer consider himself British in that case.
    He had better cease using Cockney expressions or else.

    I don’t mind who it is, as long as they are bona fide Ballroom people, though I voted for Karen, as Ian might be too nice.

    I guess you missed the Matthew Bourne tweet saying he wouldn’t do it, as he is not a TV personality?

    I say have a complete clear out, as you can’t say Bruno, Craig or Darcey are any less old hat than Len, or you’d be lying.

    But please no Ashley Banjo. Has he ever done couples dancing?

    And definitely no Brenda.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I put Hayley Holt! on the poll, I think it was fairly obvious possibility wasn’t my utmost factor in choosing.

  9. jgcameron1992

    I wouldn’t mind Antony replacing as I doubt the other 3 (maybe Craig) can recognise or even technically judge proper ballroom dance figure, not that they judge on technique these days but we can dream. I still get rage when I think about Frankie Bridge dancing.her foxtrot ENTIRELY ON HER TOES.

  10. Huriye

    Oh god! I dread to think what the Eville Rainbow Producer Woman has in store…….more props…….more plastic horses……more Ensemble dancers bumping into celebs…..more!…More, I tell you, just more of everything……

    “Louise Rainbow, Executive Producer of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ said: “Whilst we will be sad to say goodbye to Len, as our way of saying thank you, we are all determined to make this series the most spectacular and most glittery.”

  11. Minxy

    Anton? No. Just No! And I don’t dislike Anton. He sometimes makes me laugh sometimes cringe but mainly meh .. But mainly no because I think he will turn into Len MkII

    Karen (when I won with Mark) Hardy? Oh hell NO!!! – with sprinkles and extra !!!!! I can just about suffer her on CC but Jo was wayyyyy better tho I want to see her given a chance with duffers and ringers alike. She would be totally insufferable

    Ian? If it HAS to be someone we know then OK – he knows what he is doing (and I still remember how he taught not Beyoncé so much better than Brenda did, gave her steps and didn’t drag her round the floor – she was a different dancer and performer that week) and can severely critique when needed without being nasty. Bruno and Craig have the nasty for nasty’s sake already

    I voted for crazy Shirl just cos lol. Balance out the panel and she actually knows her stuff ( and nice to see a review from someone who has heard her in action – thanks BC) and won’t just go with what the boyz said (I liked early Darcy best). At least keep some pretence of it being a BALLROOM show

    And now I am giving Erin some serious consideration too. And the more I think about it the more I can get behind her. Not the Erin of Erin’s Island, but the Erin before the show broke her. Miss Whiplash with a great SOH and passion for dance. BUT … the Anton factor?

    Bye Len
    Enjoy ya fun in the sun. You earned it. I would do the same in your shoes.
    They just better not keep harping on ALL season about it. That would erode my goodwil very fast. Just a quick handshake, some flowers, a jar of pickled walnuts and a fast car to the airport. The head judge is dead. Long live the head judge kinda thing. Don’t let the door hit ya …


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.