Len Goodman made heartbreaking confession to King Charles about family

Lorraine announces sad news that Len Goodman has died

Len Goodman teamed up with King Charles III to deliver an important message about looking after the nation’s elderly. The former Strictly star met Charles, then the Prince of Wales, at an Age UK event at Buckingham Palace in June 2018. During the reception, which was hosted by Charles as part of his 70th birthday celebrations, Len opened up about his own family and the loneliness he would face without them.

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The ballroom dancer, who was an Age UK ambassador, joined several other star supporters as they promoted the charity’s campaign to tackle loneliness.

Len urged people to check on their elderly neighbours, saying: “Older people can be isolated and don’t see anyone and we’re trying to make the public aware that it’s not a bit job to pop two doors along and make sure they’re okay.”

He went on to admit: “I’m fortunate to have a son and a loving wife, but I can well imagine if I didn’t have that — how lonely you can get.”

Birds of a Feather actress Lesley Joseph commended Age UK’s work, saying: “My mother was in a care home and I saw a lot of people in there who never got a visitor and that really broke my heart, that anyone could get to the later part of their lives and have nobody. It can be so easily overcome, if you know somebody on your street to offer to do shopping or go for a coffee.”

Meanwhile, actor Jane Asher, Age UK ambassador, said she has no plans to retire, adding that staying in work can help keep people active.

She said: “I will keep going until I fall off the stage. I feel lucky to be doing a job that I enjoy — so many people long for retirement but I can’t imagine it.”

Len, who died aged 78 at a hospice in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday, was just six months into his retirement. He leaves behind his wife Sue, son James and grandchildren.

His retirement from Dancing with the Stars in November 2022 marked the last time he was seen on TV and at the time, he announced he was retiring to spend more time with his family.

Len told viewers: “This will be my last season judging Dancing With the Stars. I’ve been on the show since it started in 2005, and it has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show but I’ve decided I want to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.”

The ballroom dancer first rose to notoriety through his role as head judge on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing from its launch in 2004 until 2016.

He appeared on Dancing with the Stars, the US version of the show, from 2005 until 2022.

His longstanding career in show business spanned six decades, and his death — on Saturday night — came just three days before what would have been his 79th birthday.

A statement from his agent said: “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.”

His cause of death was revealed on Monday as bone cancer, with his spokeswoman confirming he had suffered a short illness.

The dancer previously gave insight into his life in retirement, revealing he spent his Saturday nights shouting at the TV while watching the BBC show he once starred in.

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“I’ve been giving it a load of ‘WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, CRAIG. WHAT ARE YOU ON ABOUT?’” Len told the Daily Mail. “Craig has gone bl***y mad.”

It is understood that Queen Camilla is a huge fan of the BBC dancing competition, and she and King Charles sit down together every Saturday night to enjoy the show when it is running.

Co-presenter of the BBC show, Tess Daly, previously revealed just how much of a fan of the show the Queen Consort is. During an interview with Hello! Magazine, she said Camilla has even been to visit the show’s set.

In October 2019, Tess said: “Camilla is a fan, she has been to visit us in the studio before and she spent half a day with us and it was wonderful. She was absolutely part of the whole process during the dress rehearsals, at the judge’s desk, handling the panels and she really enjoyed her day. She’s such a lovely lady and she actually invited all of our crew to Buckingham Palace two years ago and we filmed part of our routine there for Christmas. She’s told me they watch together so I hope they enjoy the series.”

Last year, there were even reports suggesting the King and Queen may host a special episode of the show at Buckingham Palace.

Since news of his death emerged, tributes have poured in for the former head judge.

Channel 5 News presenter Dan Walker tweeted a series of pictures with the accompanying heartfelt message: “So sad to hear about the death of Len Goodman. He was an incredible man & an extraordinary talent. Loved making telly with him, being daft with him, playing golf with him & will never forget the little tips he would send every week on Strictly. All my love to his family.”

While breakfast TV broadcaster Susanna Reid, who was a runner-up in the 2013 series with partner Kevin Clifton, said: “Oh this is such an awful shock and so sad. Len was an absolute legend & the definition of a proper gent.

“He was a beautiful man with a huge sense of humour who had such a mischievous turn of phrase. I’ll never forget ‘all bounce, bum & bongos’. My love to his family.”

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