Len Goodman will hang up his Strictly Come Dancing shoes for good at the end of the next series
The Head Judge of the BBC’s Saturday night hit has announced that the next series, his fourteenth, will be his last.
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are to present new series, and judges Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Darcy Bussell will also be returning.
The RTS-award winning show has not yet announced this year’s line-up of celebrity contestants who will be taking to the floor to win the glitterball trophy in the autumn.
Len Goodman has been head judge since the show began on BBC One: “In 2004, I was asked to take part in a brand new BBC Saturday night show, and who would have thought me, old Len Goodman, would still be part of this amazing series more than 10 years on.”
“I’ve decided after this year it’s time to hand the role of Head Judge to someone else. It is an honour being part of the wonderful Strictly Come Dancing family and I’m looking forward to my last series very much and to whatever comes next.”
Rumours are already flying about who will replace the popular judge, whose catchphrase 'seVEN!' won him a fond following. Choreographer Mandy Moore, who rose to prominence choreographing for So You Think You Can Dance in the UK, Canada, Ukraine and Netherlands, and former Strictly dancer Karen Hardy are the current favourites at 3/1 according to bookmakers William Hill.
Former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips, and Strictly professionals Ian Waite and Anton Du Beke have also been suggested as potential replacements.
Strictly also announced at the end of the last series that a number of the professional dancers would not be returning for the new series including Tristan MacManus, Aliona Vilani, Kristina Rihanoff, Ola Jordan and Gleb Savchenko.
Strictly Come Dancing is one of the BBC’s most successful entertainment programmes, regularly beating ITV’s autumn hit The X Factor for ratings.
However with the loss of The Voice to ITV earlier this year, the corporation is looking for popular family formats which can match the show’s success at other times of year.