‘DWTS’ Judge Leaving: Len Goodman Exits ‘Dancing With The Stars’ After 20 Seasons

Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) judge Len Goodman is leaving the show after 20 seasons, E! Online is reporting.

Showrunner Rob Wade issued a statement explaining the DWTS judge’s exit.

“Len will not be returning as a judge this season on Dancing with the Stars due to his schedule as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing in the UK and the birth of his new grandson. He still might be involved in the season at some capacity, but we will have to wait and see. “

The 71-year-old Goodman, originally from London, has been a DWTS judge from the very beginning, according to Us Magazine. Originally, three judges doled out scores on DWTS; however, the format changed beginning with he edition of a fourth judge – Julianne Hough (who, according to this Inquisitr report, recently got engaged) – in Season 19. Fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli have sat alongside Goodman behind the DWTS judges’ table since the beginning.

In fact, Goodman had announced back in December 2014 that he would be leaving DWTS, according to an E! Online report, saying at the time that he was tired of travelling between two continents and would like to stick to the British version of DWTS (called Strictly Come Dancing across The Pond).

“Next year, I’m not going to do the flying backwards and forwards—I’m not going to do the American show…I’ve got to have a bit of time off. Dancing with the Stars—next year is their 10th year, it’s the 20th series of the show. So I think that’s a nice place to stop.”

In other DWTS news, the names of nine of the pros who will be competing in Season 21 were released Wednesday on Good Morning America. They are: Allison Holker, Sharna Burgess, Witney Carson, Peta Murgatroyd, Val Chmerkovskiy, Artem Chigvintsev, Mark Ballas, and Derek Hough. Karina Smirnoff, who sat out last season, takes the ninth spot. There are three spots left to be filled; the names of those dancers, as well as the celebrities competing with them, will be revealed later.

As for the fourth judging spot, Wade says that there won’t be a permanent judge to replace Len Goodman; rather, the show intends to rotate guest judges in the fourth spot.

“We are planning on having great guest judges for some shows to join Bruno, Carrie Ann, and Julianne, and I’m sure we will see Len in the ballroom again soon.”

DWTS returns to ABC on Monday, September 14.

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