Current “Dancing With the Stars” judge Len Goodman gave a September 2022 interview with the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper in which he talks about his time on both “Dancing With the Stars” and its British counterpart show “Strictly Come Dancing,” which he was a part of from 2004 to 2016.
Goodman says that he appreciates that times change, but he is always worried he’s going to accidentally say something that’s not politically correct and get attacked for it.
Goodman Said He Got Attacked By the Gay Community
In the interview, he was asked about the “worst thing about social media” and Goodman cited that people on Twitter are “the most awful people,” recalling how he gave a low score once on “Strictly Come Dancing” and fans were telling him things like “I hope on your way home you have a car crash and die.”
“That’s the sort of thing I got. So I stopped using [Twitter],” said Goodman, adding that the absolute worst is when he accidentally says something that’s not politically correct.
I understand that things change, which I agree with – however, I find it very easy, without meaning to, to say something that’s not PC. I don’t mean to do it, and suddenly I’ve said something and put my foot in it. That’s partly the reason I’m glad I’m not on “Strictly” anymore. I’m sure I would have said something inadvertently that was not acceptable to certain people.
It happened when NSYNC’s Joey Fatone did a rumba [on “Dancing With the Stars”], and his arms were too soft. Whenever I critique, I think of positives, like “I must say, your posture was great” and also something to help, but I said “I would have liked it if your arms had been stronger, they were a little bit airy-fairy.” Airy-fairy. It’s a saying I’ve used all my life, but I got America’s gay community attacking me for something that was totally innocent.
Fatone competed on “Dancing With the Stars” season four and season 15, finishing in second place on season four with his partner Kym Johnson. The two of them would go on to finish in 12th place on the all-star 15th season.
That was not the only time Goodman has been called out for something he said that was a bit off-color. In June 2022 during the BBC’s broadcast of Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee celebration, Goodman casually mentioned how his grandmother called curry and Indian food “foreign muck” and viewers were not pleased. You can see the video on The Sun’s website.
Goodman Also Talked About The Only ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Celebrity to Follow Up on Calling Him After the Show
When asked about his best celebrity encounter, Goodman had kind of a cool answer. Apparently, a lot of celebrities on “Dancing With the Stars” say that they’ll keep in touch after the show, but talk show host Jerry Springer is the one person who actually did.
“Celebrities I meet on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ often say to me, ‘Give me your number, I’ll call you up,'” said Goodman. “No one has ever phoned, except Jerry Springer, who is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. He called me up and said: ‘Len, I’m in London, fancy having lunch tomorrow?’ We went to Scott’s, and he paid. He’s a marvellous conversationalist.”
Goodman added, “[Springer] wasn’t a very good dancer on the show, but he was good fun. His daughter, who is blind, was getting married, and he wanted to learn to dance so he could do the waltz with her at the reception.”
Goodman also talked about his worst health scare, which was 10 years ago when he battled prostate cancer, but he said that “all is good” with him nowadays.
Finally, the best advice that Goodman has ever received was to just “be yourself and be honest.”
“A really good piece of advice that has always helped me, subsequent and prior to ‘Strictly,’ is to be yourself, and be honest. You can’t go wrong. I always try to be honest with my critiques, my opinions and my scores,” said the dancing judge.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season on Monday, September 19, on Disney Plus.