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len goodman dancing with the stars

OUT: Star of One of Disney’s Longest-Running Shows Announces Resignation on Live Broadcast

It’s curtains for the star of one of Disney’s most popular and longest-running prime-time television shows, as he announced during a live broadcast on Monday evening.

RELATED: First-Ever Disney+ Night Coming to ‘Dancing With the Stars’

“I’ve decided to spend more time with my grandchildren and my family back in Britain.”

len goodman dancing with the stars

Credit: Parade Magazine

Those were the final words of the resignation delivered by the lead judge of Disney/ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, Len Goodman, on Monday evening during a live broadcast of the Semi-Finals for Season 31 of the show which pairs celebrities with professionally-trained dancers and follows the couples’ progress over several weeks.

“I’m looking forward to next week’s finale,” Goodman, 78, said halfway through Monday evening’s live broadcast. “It’s also with a touch of sadness as this will be my last season judging on ‘Dancing with the Stars.'”

Goodman has been the centerpiece of the judges’ panel on Dancing With the Stars since 2005. But long before he wielded such judicial power on the sidelines of Disney’s most famous dance floor, he too spent years under the scrutiny and criticism–constructive or otherwise–of other dance judges.

ANL/Shutterstock

Credit: Seventies of Len/Len Goodman

Goodman didn’t start dancing until he was almost 20 years old, after doctors recommended it as therapy after a foot injury. By his late twenties, he had already retired from dancing, having turned professional, after winning multiple competitions, including the British Championships at Blackpool.

Val Chmerkovskiy, one of the show’s professional dancer/instructors, says he was shocked by the announcement.

“I was very surprised by the news,” he told Parade after the show Monday night. “No one knew. What am I going to miss? I’m going to miss the familiarity. I knew him before the show. He is such an important voice, an important authority. And the British accent makes every difference. I’m going to miss all of that. Hopefully, they’ll have his spirit somehow still present. He’s going to be missed.”

“It has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show,” Goodman said, speaking to ex-super model and host of the show, Tyra Banks. “But I’ve decided I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain. I cannot thank you enough, the ‘Dancing with the Stars‘ family. It’s been such a wonderful experience and I’m looking so much to next week’s finale. I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely brilliant.”

len goodman dancing with the stars

Credit: YouTube

The finale of Dancing With the Stars, Season 31, airs live on Monday night, November 21, on Disney+. Viewers can also stream episodes of the fan-favorite show anytime on the platform as well.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!