Are we losing Len Goodman? First there were all the rumors that Dancing With the Stars might want to replace him with a younger judge, and now there are rumors that Len would like to leave the show himself, just to avoid the seriously awful commute from the U.K.
Len, 69, pulls double duty judging both DWTS in Los Angeles and Strictly Come Dancing in London. Last month, he told The Mirror in the U.K., “The only reason I’d ever quit [the U.K. show] is if I was in ill-health. Strictly gave me my break. I was about to retire when they came along and changed my life. They kindly gave me a job, so – unless they fire me or I have to leave through sickness – I’m staying. If I had to leave one show it would be Dancing With The Stars, even though I’m paid a bit more for that.”
According to the Daily Star of the U.K., Len makes about £250,000 (around $402,775) a year for the two seasons of DWTS, but sources recently told the magazine he’s on the verge of quitting DWTS because he spends more than 20 hours a week flying back and forth for the different shows. Judge Bruno Tonioli, 57, does the same, and Bruno previously told the Daily Star it gave them both “two months of permanent jet lag."
A source reportedly close to Len said, “He wants to quit Dancing With The Stars because he finds the travelling so tough. His time zones change dramatically every few days and when he does want to spend time off with his family he’s too tired to really enjoy it.”
The magazine said Len’s departure would leave the U.S. show in “crisis” because Bruno would also likely quit. Bruno previously told them he wouldn’t be able to do the commute without Len there as company.
Who knows if any of this is a real glimpse into the future or just gossip based on Len being understandably tired of doing that crazy commute since 2005. DWTS may want to skew younger in general, but what is the show without Len — or possibly Len and Bruno?
We had two guest judges fill in for Len on Season 17, but we never really took them seriously as potential replacements (especially Cher). But what if the Semifinals’ judging stint by Maksim Chmerkovskiy is essentially a test run?
What do you think of the idea of Len leaving the show? We’d definitely miss laughing with or rolling our eyes at Grumpy and his “cup of tea” comments, but it’s only natural to want to take things a bit easier at 69. One job may be enough for him.
Weigh in with your thoughts on Len (and Bruno?) possibly leaving DWTS, and watch the show Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.