Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

I forget Strictly's best - Goodman

Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman says the comedy contestants are more memorable than the really good dancers

Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman has admitted the celebrities who dazzle on the dance floor often end up fading from his memory.

The 69-year-old former dance teacher - a panellist on the BBC show since it began 11 years ago - said the good dancers were often eclipsed by the bad dancers who become comedy contestants to win viewers' votes.

Len admitted: "It's a bizarre thing, but we all remember the Ann Widdecombes and the John Sergeants and Russell Grants. Quite often we remember them more than we remember the ones who win."

Former MP Ann and journalist John won over the public despite their poor dancing with comedy performances and silly costumes, while Russell's stunts on the floor included being shot out of a cannon.

Len said he hopes X Factor judge Louis Walsh follows through on his pledge to compete on the show next year, as it would be "good fun".

The Irish music mogul recently claimed he would take part in the dance show when he leaves rival Saturday night show The X Factor.

Len said: "I don't know if it's a rumour or if he's being spiteful to Simon Cowell, but it would be interesting if he was on it. I'll watch and see. Let's hope he is, it would be good fun."

Louis, 61, had a war of words in 2010 with Strictly host Sir Bruce Forsyth after Walsh branded him and Len too old to be on TV.

Len has been working with the forthcoming National Lottery Awards for the BBC and recently surprised Strictly fan Mandy Aldwin as he presented her with a trophy.

Mandy, from Reading, almost died from rare skin disorder ichthyosis and has campaigned tirelessly ever since to help others with the condition. The Ichthyosis Support Group (ISG) has been voted best health project by the public in the National Lottery Awards.

Ambassador Len surprised her with the award at an ISG meeting.

He said: "It's so rewarding to do these sorts of things. The reaction was wonderful. First it was shock, followed by tears, followed by smiles, so it was lovely.

"We tend to think of the lottery as just providing funding for Olympic athletes, but that just isn't the case. There's £35 million every week given to such worthy causes."

:: Len's surprise presentation will air as part of National Lottery Stars 2013 on Wednesday September 11, 2013 at 10.30pm on BBC One.

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