Len Goodman Announces 'Dancing With the Stars' Retirement

Dancing With the Stars is losing a pillar of its infrastructure. On Monday night's episode, longtime head judge Len Goodman revealed that he is retiring from the show after its current 31st season. Goodman has been with the dance competition series since its inception in 2005 and, as co-host Tyra Banks noted, has judged over 3,000 routines during his time with the show. 

In the midst of the semi-finals, Banks shared that Goodman had an announcement. The 78-year-old ballroom dance expert then shared with DWTS fans that Season 31 would be his last as a judge. Goodman revealed that although he has loved his time on the show, it's now time for him to leave the show in order to spend more time with his family. When he announced the news, the audience, the professional dancers, and their celebrity partners all gave him a standing ovation. The head judge on the panel opened up even further about his retirement decision when speaking with PEOPLE. 

"Doing a live show you have to be at the top of your game and quick to react. And as one gets older, then things start to get more challenging," Goodman said. "I haven't fallen asleep or started dribbling yet on the show, so I thought it's best to go before I start to do so!" He continued, "I will miss the California sunshine, working with my fellow judges and the camaraderie with everyone on the show. I'll miss seeing the celebrities developing into dancers and I will miss being part of one of the most successful shows on TV."

Before Goodman tried his hand at judging, the Brit was a professional ballroom dancer himself. In addition to serving as a head judge on DWTS, he has also been a head judge on Strictly Come Dancing, a British version of the competition. He joined the DWTS team in 2005 alongside fellow longtime judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. Even though he has been on DWTS for years, he has taken some short breaks in between. 


As PEOPLE noted, Goodman first took a break for Season 21. He joined the show again for Seasons 22 to 28. Goodman had to take another break during Season 29 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, Derek Hough, a former DWTS pro and champion, was brought into the mix as a judge.