Len Goodman attacks 'spiteful' Simon Cowell

image captionAlesha Dixon (left) has joined the Britain's Got Talent judging panel

Strictly Come Dancing's Len Goodman has branded Britain's Got Talent boss Simon Cowell "spiteful and mean" for poaching Alesha Dixon from the BBC One show.

Cowell has said he offered Dixon a judging slot on Britain's Got Talent based "70-30 on the fact she was on Strictly and the fact I liked her".

He added there was "unbelievable rivalry" between the two talent shows.

But speaking to Radio 5 live's Richard Bacon, Goodman said: "If that is the case - shame on you, Simon."

It was announced earlier this month that Dixon was to join judging panellists Cowell, David Walliams and Amanda Holden on the ITV1 talent contest.

Goodman, 68, added that he would never "knock the opposition" and he enjoyed Cowell's shows.

"I think it is spiteful and mean if that is the case that Simon said: 'I just want to be spiteful towards Strictly'.

"Because why would you want to do that? Why would you want to spoil millions of people's pleasures? It's not the right way to behave, so if that is the case - shame on you, Simon."

Bacon also asked the Strictly judge whether he thought his former colleague Arlene Phillips would return to the panel, now Dixon has left.

media captionLen Goodman told Radio 5 live he was disappointed in Simon Cowell.

"I don't know. I've got a feeling if they asked her to come back, that she would," he said.

"I would be perfectly happy if Arlene was to return because I thought she did a great job while she was on it.

"I don't think the BBC got rid of her in a nice way actually. As far as I understand, she virtually didn't know about it until it was almost in the press.

"I think they could have handled the whole thing in a more diplomatic and nicer way."

Phillips, who was 66 at the time, was axed from Strictly in 2009 in favour of 33-year-old Dixon, leading to accusations of ageism at the BBC.

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