ABC
By Melissa Locker
December 9, 2014

Brace yourselves, dance fans: Len Goodman is leaving Dancing with the Stars.

The beloved (if grumpy) head judge, who is the most senior member of the judiciary on Dancing with the Stars, told reporters that he will depart the show next year. Goodman, who is also a judge on the UK version of the popular dancing show, Strictly Come Dancing, has tired of schlepping back and forth between judges panels on both sides of the Atlantic. “Next year, I’m not going to do the flying backwards and forwards – I’m not going to do the American show… I’ve got to have a bit of time off,” Goodman explained.

“I’ve got my wife, I’ve got my son, my mother is still alive and she’s in hospital – I’ve had virtually no time to go and visit her,” he said Monday. “So, I just need a bit of time off to get on with a normal life. And it was either Strictly went or the American one went or the tour went. … I’m doing the spring one when I go out there … and that’s going to be my last one. Dancing with the Stars, next year is their 10th year … so I think that’s a nice place to stop.”

American dancing fans will still be able to see Goodman when the show returns this spring, but then he will be taking a break from DWTS while still serving on Strictly Come Dancing‘s panel. Goodman assured the world that fellow judge Bruno Tonioli will continue assessing paso dobles, cha chas and sambas on both Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing.

To make up for the Len-shaped hole in the judges panel, last season the show brought former pro Julianne Hough back to the show as a judge. The former pro proved herself almost as tetchy as the head judge, even when it came to judging her brother, Derek Hough. Still, the only appropriate replacement for Goodman is Grumpy Cat herself — not that she needs the money.

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