Len Goodman

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Len Goodman

Goodman in 2007
BornLeonard Gordon Goodman
(1944-04-25) April 25, 1944 (age 68)
Bethnal Green, London, England
Occupation Television personality, dance teacher, dancer
Years active 1963–present
Spouse(s) Sue Goodman
 
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Len Goodman

Goodman in 2007
BornLeonard Gordon Goodman
(1944-04-25) April 25, 1944 (age 68)
Bethnal Green, London, England
Occupation Television personality, dance teacher, dancer
Years active 1963–present
Spouse(s) Sue Goodman

Leonard Gordon "Len" Goodman (born 25 April 1944)[1] 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.[2]

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Early life and career

Goodman was born in Bethnal Green,[3] the son of Louisa (née Eldridge) and Len Goodman, an electrician.[4] One of his maternal great-great-grandfathers was a Polish immigrant.[5]

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.[6] 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.[3] He turned professional, won various competitions, and retired from dancing after winning the British Championships at Blackpool in his late twenties.[3] 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.[1]

As of 2011, 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?,[7] 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,[8] where he fought for freedom in the anti-tsarist November Uprising[9] for which he was awarded Virtuti Militari, Poland's highest military decoration for heroism and courage.[10]

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 capitalises on his experience as a welder at Harland and Wolff. It was broadcast in the United States by PBS.[11] Len interviewed descendants of survivors and introduced viewers to memorials and significant sites in the United Kingdom.

Len Goodman on the cover of Dartford Living, October 2008

Personal life

He married his dancing partner Cherry Kingston on 27 April 1972, but they were later divorced.[12] He has a son, James William Goodman (born 1981)[2] who is currently teaching dance at the Goodman Dance Centre. His second wife Lesley (mother of James) also taught dancing at his dance schools in Dartford and Gravesend. He is currently married to his third wife, Sue,[12] who is 37 years his junior. He appeared on the BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs in June 2011.

Goodman is a staunch West Ham United fan and was featured on the BBC football magazine show Football Focus on 26 September 2009.[13]

Goodman was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2009,[14] which was treated surgically at a London hospital.

References

  1. ^ a b Biography from. TVGuide.com (1944-04-25). Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  2. ^ a b Graham, Natalie (2005-12-04). "Dancer takes steps to clear home loan". The Times (London). Archived from the original on 2007-03-14. http://web.archive.org/web/20070314211041/http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/related_reports/article745368.ece. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  3. ^ a b c Wignall, Alice (2006-12-05). "Dancing was what the doctor ordered for Len Goodman". The Guardian (London). http://education.guardian.co.uk/egweekly/story/0,,1963500,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  4. ^ 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). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1048840/Im-goody-shoes-Glen-Goodman-reveals-colourful-life-barrow-boy-roots-judging-stars-dance-moves.html. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  5. ^ "Featured Articles - Len Goodman". TheGenealogist.co.uk. http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/wdytya_lengoodman.php. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  6. ^ Len Goodman (3 September 2009). Better late Than Never: From Barrow Boy to Ballroom. Ebury Press. ISBN 0-09-1928036. 
  7. ^ "Strictly judge Len Goodman's ancestors died in the workhouse". The Daily Telegraph (London). 2011-03-02. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8356902/Strictly-judge-Len-Goodmans-ancestors-died-in-the-workhouse.html. 
  8. ^ "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. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2020244/Slavery-bigamy-adoption--new-series-Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are-unearths-shocking-secrets-stars-pasts-But-clamour-.html. 
  9. ^ "Grudziądz. Telewizja BBC kręciła film w Cytadeli". Gazeta Pomorska (Bydgoszcz, Poland). 2011-03-09. http://www.pomorska.pl/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110309/HISTORIA/499741078. 
  10. ^ Len Goodman at bbc.co.uk/iplayer. Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  11. ^ "Titanic with Len Goodman". PBS. 2012-05-10. http://www.pbs.org/programs/titanic-len-goodman/. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  12. ^ a b Goodman, Len (2008-08-29). "My wife waltzed away with a suave French seducer, reveals Strictly's Len Goodman". The Guardian (London). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1049119/My-wife-waltzed-away-suave-French-seducer-reveals-Len-Goodman.html. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  13. ^ BBC SPORT | Football | Football Focus | It's strictly West Ham for Len Goodman. BBC News (2009-09-26). Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  14. ^ Heldman, Breanne L. (29 June 2009). "Dancing With the Stars' Len Goodman Tangos With Cancer". E! Online. http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b131718_dancing_with_stars_len_goodman_tangos.html. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 

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