Entertainment & Arts

Strictly: Len Goodman 'doesn't know' who many contestants are

Len Goodman Image copyright PA
Image caption Goodman has been head judge on Strictly since 2004

Len Goodman has said he often fails to recognise the celebrities in the Strictly Come Dancing line-up.

"I'm not very celebrity savvy - I know the odd sports person but not the others," he told the Radio Times.

Goodman, who has been head judge on Strictly since its first series in 2004, said the contestants he remembers are the more unorthodox characters.

He is stepping down from the show after the current series ends with the grand final next weekend.

'Cat with nine lives'

"I very clearly remember [former MP] Ann Widdecombe but I can't remember who won it that year," he said.

"I very clearly remember [journalist] John Sergeant but I couldn't tell you who won it that year.

"And in five years' time, I will very clearly remember [former shadow chancellor] Ed Balls but I probably won't be able to tell you who wins - so what does that say about me and most of the people watching?"

Earlier this year, the 72-year-old confirmed the current series of the programme will be his last.

"The overriding thing about Strictly is, as much as we love the dancing, it's about entertainment and the people watching tend to remember the entertainers way more than they do the dancers," he said.

"I was sad when Ed Balls left. He was the cat with nine lives - but of course he went in week 10, which is quite funny."

Asked about which contestants he had liked immediately, Goodman said: "I'm a keen golfer, so it was great to shake hands with Tony Jacklin when he was on the show - unfortunately he couldn't dance and was out week one."

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