Tearful Arlene Phillips remembers Len Goodman a year after his death

Len Goodman died in April last year

Watch: Tearful Arlene Phillips remembers Len Goodman a year after his death

What did you miss?

Arlene Phillips looked visibly emotional as she remembered her friend Len Goodman, saying: "Hearing his voice brings him back to me."

It has been a year since Goodman died aged 78 from bone cancer. His close friend and fellow former Strictly Come Dancing host Phillips shared special memories of their time together during an appearance on Loose Women on Tuesday, marking the anniversary.

Sweetly, the professional dance choreographer declared that her friend was always loved by everyone. She told the Loose Women panel: "The thing about Len, I went up and down in likability but Len was always loved."

What, how and why?

Arlene Phillips appeared on Loose Women, (ITV screengrab)
Arlene Phillips appeared on Loose Women, (ITV screengrab)

Loose Women star Ruth Langsford asked Phillips whether she can look back on the memories of her friend with fondness. The dancing star was emotional as she opened her heart to talk about her late friend and how she remembers him.

She said: "I do look back with fondness. Interestingly, particularly when I hear his voice because that thing we can now record voices. Most of us have never thought about recording someone you know you are going to lose and keeping that memory."

As she continued to share her joy at hearing her late friend on recordings, Phillips' own voice began to crack as she was overcome with emotion.

She added: "The joy in the fact that you can go to your computer open it up and you can get all those wonderful 'I'm just a dance teacher from Dartford' or whatever it may be. You can hear them. Hearing his voice brings him back. And the crazy times we shared."

Arlene Phillips' memories of Len Goodman

Craig Revel Hallwood, Arlene Phillips and Len Goodman pictured during Strictly Come Dancing final dress rehearsal
Craig Revel Hallwood, Arlene Phillips and Len Goodman pictured during Strictly Come Dancing final dress rehearsal. (BBC)

Looking back with fondness, Phillips also remembered when her path first crossed with Goodman. She said: "I knew him and I had actually studied with Peggy Spencer who Len was a good ally of. We had lessons, dance lessons. I knew Len but we came together on the day - and I had no idea Len was going to be there - when they called my agent from the BBC, 'We are going to make a pilot and it's probably going to be called Strictly Come Dancing but it's based on Come Dancing and we'd like to audition Arlene Phillips as a panellist.'"

Phillips set her heart on doing the show and even moved her special lunch date around to make sure she would be there for filming Strictly. She added: "I said it's a ballroom show, I do musical theatre. They explained they wanted judges from all aspects of the dance world. So they asked if I would do a pilot. I was having a birthday lunch that day. Can we move it earlier? We really want you to be there. So I said do it, do it, do it. I moved my lunch earlier."

Perhaps surprisingly, the TV star revealed Strictly was "chaos" on the first day of filming. Additionally, she enjoyed sharing how much the chaos impacted her friend Len. She said: "Then arriving at this studio it was chaos. There was on the floor some pros Anton was one of them, a few celebrities Natasha, but the fill in was musical theatre performers who did a mix of dance.

Len Goodman starring on Dancing with the Stars
Len Goodman starring on Dancing with the Stars. (Getty)

"In the studio there was one man sitting here, one man sitting here and I was told to sit here. They were going to show us some dances and we just had to talk about them and give them a score out of 10. No paddles or anything like that. So Len was sitting there. There was this chaos. No one seemed to be organising what was going to happen.

"And suddenly, there we were being told what we had to do. It was now late, we probably had been two hours in the chaos. Len was so unhappy - he had gone from smiling 'nice to meet you' talking about ballroom room to grumpy, to really grumpy. It was lovely Sue's birthday and he was taking her out for dinner and he wanted to go before we had even started!" She declared excitedly: "That's how we met!"

Elsewhere in the interview, Philips praised Goodman for staying loyal to his studio in Dartford and never giving it up even when he found fame with Strictly. She explained: "It was never about money or grounded. It was about talking about dancing. He still went back to his studio in Dartford, that was his baby. He didn't want to leave it and say goodbye."

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