Shirley Ballas bids sad farewell to Strictly legend Len Goodman

Shirley Ballas discusses balancing Strictly and teaching dance

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Shirley Ballas, 62, broke her silence on her former Strictly Come Dancing co-judge Len Goodman’s exit from Dancing with the Stars in a heartfelt social media post. The legendary TV star’s time on the show came to an end on Monday evening after being an ever-present figure on the panel since the show first premiered back on ABC in 2005.

In view of her 253,000 Instagram followers, Shirley penned a tribute to Len, saying his “legacy in the ballroom will forever remain”.

Shirley uploaded a clip of Len’s exit speech as the crowd erupted in applause, as well as two throwback snaps of the judge smiling.

The Strictly head judge began: “My dearest Len Where do I start.

“I’m in awe of you, not only as my past teacher, but also for all the years of service you have given to @dancingwiththestars and @bbcstrictly.

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A post shared by Shirley Ballas (@shirleyballas)

“You are, and in my book will always be, a king. Your constructive criticism in helping celebrities improve along with your humour is irreplaceable.

“An authentic dancer, judge and adjudicator from the head to toe.”

Shirley continued: “My heart is full of so many memories with you over the years and I will treasure those forever.

“I’m sad you are leaving DWTS USA but we gain you back here in UK.

“You are a superstar, a one of a kind human with a talent beyond words. A heart bigger than any ocean.”

The BBC One star went on to praise the 78-year-old for his contribution to the dance industry.

She penned: “Thank you for all you have done for the dance industry, on and off screen. Your legacy in the ballroom will forever remain.

“Take your well earned rest to spend time with your beautiful family. No one deserves it more than you. A true dancing legend.

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“Love you to the moon and back Len Xx,” Shirley finished the lengthy tribute.

Len’s final show left his fans and co-stars in tears after the dance icon took to the stage to make his announcement.

He said: “Well, while we are all getting excited and looking forward so much to the finale next week, it will also be with a touch of sadness as this will be my last season judging on Dancing with Stars.”

Gasps could be heard from the studio audience as the announcement sent shockwaves through fans.

He continued: “I’ve been with the show since it started in 2005 and it has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show.”

As the audience gave him an ovation, Len smiled and went on: “I’ve decided to spend more time with my grandchildren and my family back in Britain.”

Moments after, Bruno Tonioli and judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Derek Hough approached Len to give him a hug.

And the emotions soon got the best of them as Carrie and Bruno could be seen in tears.

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