Former 'Strictly' judge Len Goodman addresses Darcey Bussell replacement rumours

Amy West
Contributor
'Strictly' star Len Goodman has revealed he wants professional dancer Anton du Beke to fill Darcey Bussell's judging shoes (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

Strictly Come Dancing legend Len Goodman thinks “another lady” will replace Darcey Bussell as judge ahead of the upcoming series.

In an interview with Hello! magazine this week, the professional ballroom dancer expressed his approval of Bonnie Langford - who has been linked to the BBC show in recent reports - becoming the newest member on the panel.

"Yeah she is someone who most people know. And I am not saying very young people, but most people know Bonnie Langford,” Goodman explained. “So yeah, it is a pretty good call.

Read more: Craig Revel Horwood reveals Nicole Scherzinger as his dream 'Strictly Come Dancing' judge

"I have a feeling it will be another lady,” the 75-year-old continued, before adding that he would have liked to have seen fan favourite Anton du Beke get “a shot” at being a judge.

"I like Anton, he is very knowledgeable on ballroom dancing," he said, before suggesting that Du Beke’s transition from dancer to judge is unlikely given that it would make Shirley Ballas the only woman on the panel.

Goodman (centre left) reckons 'another lady' will replace Bussell (centre right) as a 'Strictly' judge in the upcoming series (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

"I think they are not going to have three men anymore, and one lady. They are not going to have two ballroom experts on it, I don't think so.

"I think the best chance for him [Anton], was when I left, I thought he would be a natural to take over.”

Goodman carried on to say that there aren’t many jobs to do on Strictly outside of being a dancer or a presenter, so “unless they create a different role somehow, that is what you have got.”

"I think [presenters] Tess [Daly] and Claudia [Winkleman] are terrific,” he concluded.

Since Bussell announced that she was leaving Strictly to pursue other projects, ballet dancer Carlos Acosta and McFly’s Harry Judd have been rumoured to be taking her place.

Appearing on Lorraine this morning (4 July), AJ Pritchard - who is currently one of the professionals on the hugely popular dancing show - said that it’s “obviously sad” Bussell is leaving.

Read more: 'Strictly Come Dancing' star Anton du Beke says he would be 'delighted' to replace Darcey Bussell as judge

“But the most important thing is that whoever the new judge is they have the same love and passion for dance,” he added.

Other professionals on the show include Giovanni Pernice, Katya Jones, Oti Mabuse, Diane Buswell, Graziano Di Prima and Kevin Clifton.

They’re expected to start practicing for the upcoming series at the end of this month, ahead of the celebrity contestants being confirmed.