Strictly: Len Goodman discusses same-sex couples
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Len Goodman, 76, has revealed he is relieved to not be a part of Strictly Come Dancing this year, as he would struggle to have to form a social bubble with his colleagues. The former show judge has admitted he drives his wife, Sue Goodman, “around the bend” when at home and she is able to “escape” him when she so wishes.
Speaking on if he would be able to take part in the show amid COVID-19 restrictions, Len said: “I don’t know. Probably not. Well, probably whoever I was with I would drive around the bend.
“I drive my wife around the bend, and she can escape as much as she would like,” he joked.
Len married his second wife, Sue in 2012 after a 10-year courtship and the pair live an idyllic life together in Kent.
In preparation for the Strictly live shows, the production team, judges and professional dancers have to be tested weekly for coronavirus and the professionals have bubbled up with their celebrity partners.
This is the same set-up that was in place last year.
The studio audience has also been kept to a minimum and there are no group catch-ups with host Claudia Winkleman after each dance.
This is a slight change to last year where there was no studio audience.
The famous trip to Blackpool Tower has also been cancelled.
Executive producer Sarah James confirmed the news saying: “That’s to keep everyone safe. Blackpool Tower is amazing but behind the scenes, it’s really small.
“All the dressing rooms are tiny so keeping everybody distanced is impossible and everyone stays in a hotel together up there so that’s the reason we made that decision.”
However, the positive news for contestants is there is a lessened isolation period if coming into contact with COVID-19.
Sarah said: “The better news is that last year the isolation period, if you received a positive test, was 14 days but this year it’s 10 days so if a celebrity does receive a positive test, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re out of the competition.”
Len quit Strictly five years ago and now spends most of his time stateside where he is working on Strictly’s US counterpart, Dancing With The Stars.
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Speaking on whether he catches up with his former colleagues, Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell or Bruno Tonioli, Len revealed: “No, I haven’t. I haven’t. Part of my path hasn’t crossed any of them.
“I played golf the other day with Anton [Du Beke],” who has joined the panel full time this year alongside Craig, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse.”
Opening up on the advice he would give Anton, the ballroom star said: “I don’t want him to start to copy them [the other judges] in any way, I want him to be himself, be honest.
“He is unique because he’s been a dancer on it, he knows the difficulties and the problems.
“As a judge on that show, you have to get your own personality, you have got to find that and I’m not sure they have all got it now, exactly.”
The TV veteran shared how Craig still stands out amongst the judges, as he is not afraid to give contestants a cutting remark or two.
Len continued: “He has got his own views and he is very strong about all that.
“When I was on it, you had Bruno, who was always going on about the performance, you had Darcey, who would talk about fluidity of movement and the posture. Then you had me the old technical fuddy-duddy.
“So you had four very clear people on there who kept to their own opinions,” he added.
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