Arlene Phillips says Len Goodman was ‘always there’ after abrupt Strictly axe

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    Arlene Phillips has expressed her adoration for Len Goodman and said he was "always there£ for her even when she was dropped from Strictly Come Dancing.

    The former TV judge appeared on ITV's Lorraine on Tuesday (April 25) to pay tributes to Len who sadly passed away after losing his fight with bone cancer at the age of 78.

    Talking fondly of the Strictly star to presenter Lorraine Kelly, Arlene, 79, also mentioned that Len will be dearly missed.

    READ MORE: Strictly Come Dancing stars' tragic deaths – suicide, pneumonia and cancer battle

    Lorraine said: "And it's sad for you because he was your pal, he was your friend as well!"

    Arlene replied: "Yeah we shared a lot, you know. You know even when I was dropped, Len was always there and yeah he will be missed.

    She continued: "He will be missed because when people met him they were charmed by him and he will always remain that little bit of him in part of you.

    "He had that way of affecting people, just the way he was so real!

    "The way he spoke, there was always truth, whether someone liked it or didn't, it was the truth and he would say it!"

    Arlene, who was dropped from Strictly in 2009 and replaced by Alesha Dixon, also mentioned that she wasn't aware that Len was unwell.

    She said: "Bruno [Tonioli] messaged me yesterday and he didn’t know that he was ill, I didn’t [either]. He wanted it kept very, very quiet."

    She added: "He was a man of great strength. He was out on the golf course early morning, fit as a fiddle, and then cancer invaded.

    "It feels like it happened so fast because one minute, he was there and the next minute, he’s passed away."

    Following his passing, Len's agent released a statement on Monday (April 24) to announce his death.

    The statement read: "It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78.

    "A much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him."

    As well as appearing on BBC's Strictly, Len was a judge on the US version, Dancing with the Stars from 2005 to 2022.

    However, he hung up his judging boots and announced his retirement from TV work six months ago, as he longed to spend more time with his family.


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