Strictly's Tess and Claudia say 'we're in denial at Len's leaving'
Strictly Come Dancing presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman have not yet accepted that Len Goodman is leaving the BBC series.
This weekend's live final of the celebrity dancing programme will be Goodman's last stint as head judge, after appearing on the panel since its inception in 2004.
He will also appear in the pre-recorded Christmas special, which will air on Christmas Day.
Strictly hosts Daly and Winkleman appeared on companion show It Takes Two opposite Zoe Ball for the first time and confessed to being "in denial" over Goodman's impending exit.
Daly said: "We're in denial... I hang on his every word.
Winkleman said: "I love him. And also when I was (hosting It Takes Two) we would do a masterclass, and I was chronically bad, and I would just weep. It was my favourite part of it.
"He's the king. I keep on thinking maybe it's a joke and I'm like, 'Len, see you in August?', and he goes 'no, I'm really not coming' and I'm like 'yes you will be'."
She said: "I think it will be horrible."
Daly added: "I can't imagine him not there."
Ball said that Goodman is "irreplaceable" and Daly agreed, saying: "He's the daddy of the panel."
Daly, who - like Goodman - has appeared on the show since it began, and Winkleman were full of praise for each other and said that they have formed a "telepathic" bond over the years of working together.
Winkleman has appeared as a co-host on Strictly since 2014 when she replaced previous presenter Sir Bruce Forsyth.
Daly said of Winkleman: "She just makes me die laughing all the time."
Winkleman said: "W e have a proper laugh when we're doing rehearsals. We become like baboons, not in a bad way. We're telepathic. I look at (Daly) and I play with (her) hair."
Daly said: "We can say things when we're mic'd up telepathically that we can't say on the mic. We communicate that way."
Danny Mac, Ore Oduba and Louise Redknapp will take to the dancefloor with three routines each in order to compete for the glitterball trophy this weekend.
They will perform their favourite dance, the judges' choice, and a spectacular show dance, in a bid to win the viewers' votes.
Fans will also be treated to group performances, musical moments and surprises as the series draws to a close.