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Ed Balls: Len Goodman would make good politician after Strictly stint

Published 01/12/2016

Len Goodman would make a good politician, Ed Balls said
Len Goodman would make a good politician, Ed Balls said

Ed Balls has said Len Goodman would make a good politician now that he is wrapping up his run as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing.

Goodman is stepping down at the end of the current series, after serving as head judge since the BBC competition started in 2004.

Former shadow chancellor Balls - who was eliminated from the dancefloor on Sunday - thinks Goodman's skills on the show would translate to a role in the political arena.

He told Radio Times: "Len Goodman is so special as head judge because he knows what he's talking about, he's got experience and people trust his opinion.

"To be a good politician you need to know your stuff and be trusted to make good judgments, which is why I think Len would make a good politician."

Balls became a fan favourite during his time on Strictly, defying the judges' low scores to stay in the contest for several weeks.

He joked that his professional dance partner, Katya Jones, has come up with a name for his admirers - the "Glitter Ballszettes".

Asked how it feels to be "a national treasure" now, he said: "National treasures are normally locked up in the Tower of London - and I'm sure there are some people who think that might be a good idea for me!

"The frustrating thing is when people say, 'We always knew you were a politician, but it's great to find out you're a human being too.'

"Politicians are human beings, they have hopes, dreams, worries, make mistakes, have families."

The ex-politician has previously said his wife Yvette Cooper and friend Jeremy Vine convinced him to sign up for the competition.

He said Cooper would now like to take her own shot at the Glitterball trophy.

"Yvette is hugely envious, she would love to be doing it!" he said.

"But the reality is, if you're a cabinet minister or, in her case, the chair of a select committee, it's really not appropriate.

"But would she like to have a go at some point? I'm sure the answer is yes. And she would be a lot better than me!"

:: This week's Radio Times is on sale on Thursday.

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