Having said goodbye to Strictly Come Dancing, dancer and judge Len Goodman tells all about his latest show, Partners in Rhyme.
Len Goodman's new BBC show Partners in Rhyme
Len Goodman nervous? Yes, the man who charmed the nation with his wit and repartee in Strictly admits he’s not sure how his new Saturday evening show, Partners in Rhyme, will be received.
He confides: “It’s always a case of suck it and see. It was pretty much the same when Strictly started. It went on to be massive but no one knew for sure if it was going to be a success.
“In fact,” continues Len, “Making a brand new TV show is a lot like buying a present for your wife. You put a huge amount of thought and effort into it and wrap it up beautifully. You hand it to your wife thinking, ‘She’s going to love this!’ but there’s always a chance she might open it and say, ‘Oh, have you kept the receipt?’ but I think Partners in Rhyme is great – and listen, I’m an ordinary bloke and I tend to like what most other ordinary people like so I think it will do fine.”
Len Goodman's love of dancing
So what can Len, tell us about the programme? “It’s just a fun show that’s perfect for early evening television – just like Strictly. You sit down with your family and have a laugh. It’s not University Challenge, but that’s probably a good thing!
“It features two contestants who each have two celebrities on their team,” he explains. “The teams battle it out in a series of rhyming challenges. There are various rounds such as Mime the Rhyme which I think is self-explanatory and News At Len in which I read out news stories and the contestants have to come up with the rhyming headlines. Sometimes it’s easy-peasy but other times it can get quite tricky!”
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Len Goodman on Dancing with the Stars
Although he has handed over the head judge’s paddle to his incoming Strictly replacement Shirley Ballas, Len remains a large part of America’s equivalent show, Dancing with the Stars. He has served as the show’s adjudicator since its inception in June 2005.
“My Strictly contract was renewed annually but, as is common in America, my Dancing with the Stars contract is done in blocks of four years, so I have one series left to do which begins in the autumn.”
Working on both shows required Len to embark on a punishing schedule of weekly flights from London to Los Angeles and back again. “I’m delighted not to be doing all that flying anymore!” he beams.
“For my last series of Dancing with the Stars I can stay out in LA for three months which will be heaven. It will allow me to escape the British winter, and my wife Sue can come over for a little holiday. My son, James, and my granddaughter, Alice, will visit too.
“I get put up in a lovely hotel that overlooks a golf course where I play a lot. And perhaps best of all, I get to work with good old Bruno Tonioli for another year!”
Len Goodman's family life
Does Len Goodman have a wife?
Yes - he's been married to wife Sue Barrett since 2012, and the pair were together for a decade before that. She's a dance teacher, so they share a love of taking to the floor!
Does Len Goodman have a son?
Not only a son, but a granddaughter, Alice too, who is the daughter of his son James William Goodman.