Shirley Ballas pays tribute to 'dearest friend' Len Goodman: 'A true gentleman'

'He was a shining star in the ballroom that everyone loved'

Len Goodman was a judge on Strictly and Dancing With The Stars (Adam Rose via Getty Images)

Shirley Ballas has paid tribute to former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman.

Goodman, who was a judge on the popular dance competition from 2004 to 2016, died on 22 April from bone cancer.

After the news was announced on 24 April, Ballas tweeted: "What extremely sad news this morning. As I came off Good Morning Britain I heard of the passing of my dearest friend Len Goodman.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman has died aged 78

"My past teacher, a dance legend and a true gentlemen. He was a shining star in the ballroom that everyone loved."

Ballas was Goodman's replacement on the judging panel when he stepped away from the show in 2016 when he said it was "time to hand the role of Head Judge to someone else".

Shirley Ballas arrives for the TV Choice Awards at the London Hilton in Park Lane. Picture date: Monday November 14, 2022. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Shirley Ballas replaced Len Goodman as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Goodman continued to appear on America's Dancing with the Stars until last year when he announced he was retiring so he could spend more time with his family in the UK.

A number of Goodman's former co-stars have also paid tribute to the ballroom dance legend. Craig Revel Horwood said: "I’ve just woken up to the sad news that my gorgeous colleague and dear friend Len Goodman has passed away.

"My heart and love go out to his lovely wife Sue and family. Len ‘goody’ Goodman is what I called him and “it’s a ten from Len and seveeeeern” will live with me forever. Rest in peace Len."

Celebs and their professional partners arrive at Blackpool Tower for rehearsals  Featuring: Len Goodman Where: Blackpool, United Kingdom When: 18 Nov 2016
Len Goodman died of bone cancer on 22 April. (Alamy)

Brendan Cole also said: "It's very shocking. I think it will upset the entire nation."

Goodman's death was announced by his agent in a statement which read: "It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78. A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him."

It was confirmed that Goodman died in a hospice in Tunbridge Wells just three days before his 79th birthday.

Watch below: Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman dies