Goodman in 2007
|Born||Leonard Gordon Goodman
25 April 1944
Bethnal Green, London, England, UK
|Occupation||Television personality, dance teacher, dancer|
|Spouse(s)||Sue Goodman (née Barrett) (2012-present)|
Leonard Gordon "Len" Goodman (born 25 April 1944) is a British professional ballroom dancer, dance judge, and coach. He is a leading personality on television dance programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars and runs a ballroom dance school in Dartford, Kent.
Goodman moved to Blackfen near Welling (then in Kent) when he was six years old and attended Westwood Secondary Modern School where he was a member of the cricket team. He started dancing at the age of 19 after a short time as an apprentice welder (for Harland and Wolff in Woolwich). He tried dancing only in an attempt to recover from a foot injury sustained while playing football. He turned professional, won various competitions, and retired from dancing after winning the British Championships at Blackpool in his late twenties. He is a recipient of the Carl Alan Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to dance. In 2006 and 2007, he was nominated for the Emmy Award in the Outstanding Reality/Competition Program category.
As of 2013, he appears as head judge on the television dance competition Strictly Come Dancing for the BBC in the UK and one of three judges on its American adaptation, Dancing with the Stars. He has appeared in all series of each programme since 2004 and 2005 respectively.
In October 2011 Goodman appeared on the 2011 series of the UK's celebrity genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?, in which he discovered that one of his maternal ancestors was a silk-weaver who died a pauper in the Bethnal Green workhouse. His great great grandfather Wincenty Sosnowski came from Poland, where he fought in the anti-tsarist November Uprising for which he was awarded Virtuti Militari, Poland's highest military decoration for heroism and courage.
For the 100th anniversary of the voyage and sinking of RMS Titanic, Goodman hosted a three-part BBC One documentary, shown from 30 March - 9 April 2012. It capitalised on his experience as a welder at Harland and Wolff. It was broadcast in the United States by PBS. Len interviewed descendants of survivors and introduced viewers to memorials and significant sites in the United Kingdom.
He married his dancing partner, Cherry Kingston, but they were later divorced. He then had a long term relationship with a woman named Lesley who, he wrote, "decided to give up nursing and live with me and help me run the dance school — which was great, because she was full of ideas. Things rolled along pretty nicely for a year until out of the blue Lesley dropped a bombshell. She was pregnant!" Goodman was 36 at this time. Lesley, he wrote, was the ex-wife of "a bloke called Wilf Pine who had managed [the band] Black Sabbath. Lesley and Wilf got married in Connecticut...." Goodman and Lesley's son James William Goodman was born January 26, 1981, but at age 12 moved with his mother back to her native Isle of Wight after Lesley and Goodman broke up. As of 2012, James teaches Latin and ballroom dancing at his father's Goodman Dance Centre. On December 30, 2012, Goodman married his companion of over 10 years, Sue Barrett, a 47-year-old dance teacher, in a small ceremony at a London dining club Mosimann's.
Goodman is a West Ham United fan and was featured on the BBC football magazine show Football Focus on 26 September 2009. Len is also a keen cricket fan, and in 2009 took part in a celebrity Ashes cricket game.
- Biography from. TVGuide.com (1944-04-25). Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
- Graham, Natalie (2005-12-04). "Dancer takes steps to clear home loan". The Times (London). Archived from the original on 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- Wignall, Alice (2006-12-05). "Dancing was what the doctor ordered for Len Goodman". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- Goodman, Len (2008-08-25). "I'm no goody two shoes: Len Goodman reveals his colourful life from his barrow-boy roots to judging the stars' dance moves". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- "Featured Articles - Len Goodman". TheGenealogist.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
- Len Goodman (3 September 2009). Better late Than Never: From Barrow Boy to Ballroom. Ebury Press. ISBN 0-09-1928036.
- "Strictly judge Len Goodman's ancestors died in the workhouse". The Daily Telegraph (London). 2011-03-02.
- "Slavery, bigamy, adoption... A new series of Who Do You Think You Are? unearths more shocking secrets from the stars' pasts". The Daily Mail (London). 2011-07-29.
- "Grudziądz. Telewizja BBC kręciła film w Cytadeli". Gazeta Pomorska (Bydgoszcz, Poland). 2011-03-09.
- Len Goodman at bbc.co.uk/iplayer. Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
- "Titanic with Len Goodman". PBS. 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
- Goodman, Len (August 25, 2008). "I'm no goody two shoes: Len Goodman reveals his colourful life from his barrow-boy roots to judging the stars' dance moves". UK: Excerpted autobiography, Better Late Than Never (Ebury, 2008), part 1, in Daily Mail. Retrieved December 31, 2012. "Henry Kingston ... was a former world champion dancer and a top coach. ... One day, Henry asked if I'd like to partner his teenage daughter, Cherry, and train for some competitions."
- Goodman, autobiography excerpt, part two, August 29, 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
- Goodman, Len (2008). Better Late Than Never: My Story. Ebury Press. p. 243. ISBN 978-0091928025.
- "Biography". James Goodman Dance (official site). Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Len Goodman: Strictly Come Dancing judge, 68, marries long-term girlfriend". Daily Telegraph (UK). December 31, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- BBC SPORT | Football | Football Focus | It's strictly West Ham for Len Goodman. BBC News (2009-09-26). Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
- Heldman, Breanne L. (29 June 2009). "Dancing With the Stars' Len Goodman Tangos With Cancer". E! Online. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Len Goodman.|
- Official website
- James Goodman Dance Website
- Goodman bio at his own Len Goodman's Best Of... site
- Goodman bio at BBC site
- Goodman bio at ABC's Dancing with the Stars site
- Interview with Len Goodman in local Dartford Living Magazine
- Len Goodman at the Internet Movie Database
- Len offers his advice on public speaking from BBC2's The Speaker
- Goodman celebrates 25 years hosting competitions at Pontin's