Former Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman has died at the age of 78, his manager has confirmed.
He died on Saturday at a hospice in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, surrounded by his family. He had had bone cancer.
Goodman featured on Strictly from its launch in 2004 until 2016 and proved popular with viewers for his wry humour and avuncular critiques.
As well as Strictly, he also appeared on the US version of the show, Dancing With the Stars from 2005 until 2022.
A statement from his manager, Jackie Gill, on Monday said: “It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78.
“A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”
Goodman’s enthusiastic delivery when awarding contestants a score of seven points effectively turned the number into his catchphrase.
Strictly’s longest-serving judge, Craig Revel Horwood, referenced that showmanship while leading the tributes on Monday, describing Goodman as a “gorgeous colleague and dear friend”.
“Len Goody Goodman is what I always called him and ‘It’s a ten from Len & seveeeeern’ will live with me forever,” he added.
Fellow judge Motsi Mabuse posted a black and white picture of Goodman on her Instagram story, simply captioning it “R.I.P”.
While former contestant Susanna Reid said the news of Goodman’s death was “such an awful shock and so sad”.
“Len was an absolute legend and the definition of a proper gent. He was a beautiful man with a huge sense of humour who had such a mischievous turn of phrase.”
She said she would never forget the time he described her Samba as being “all bounce, bum and bongos”.
The show’s presenter Claudia Winkleman called Goodman “one of a kind, a brilliant and kind man”.
He was, she added: “Full of twinkle, warmth and wit.”
Other Strictly dancers who paid tribute included Gorka, Gionvanni, Janette Manrara, as well as Katya Jones and Johannes Radebe.