Former Strictly judge Len Goodman reveals all about how he stays young at heart… and doing the cha-cha-cha while starkers!
Do you still watch Strictly?
It’s like having a girlfriend you’ve dated for a while and you’re happily split from – but when you see her out with another bloke, you think, “No, that’s not right, that was my girl”. It feels funny but I don’t miss it – it’s about looking forward not back. Even if they asked me to go back as a guest judge, I wouldn’t.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Brucie used to say to me: “Len, when you get up in the morning, before you do anything, have a stretch”. He did it all his life. I do circles with my arms, stretch my legs and try – and fail – to touch my toes! It’s not just about staying physically fit. Being active adds to my general feeling of wellbeing.
Do you have any advice for new Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse who replaced Dame Darcey Bussell?
Just be yourself and be honest. I was so worried when I started on the show, with no experience of TV, that I’d be boring, but that’s the advice the show’s producer told me. I’ve actually followed those wise words for life. The other thing to remember is, you’ve got to have balance on a judging panel. If the other three were being nasty, I’d always come up with something positive. I admired everyone who was gutsy enough to go on that show.
What was dancing like in the early days of your career?
Dancing can punish your body – especially Latin – and in those early days there was never any talk of warming up, which probably didn’t help.
How do you keep fit?
I’m as fit as a biscuit – I feel about 28 in my brain and around 40 in my body. It’s vital to keep moving. I play golf twice a week and go to the gym twice a week for 30 minutes, no heavy breathing mind, just a gentle workout on the bikes. I suffer from arthritis and every time I get an ache or pain, I rub in a non-drug gel called Flexiseq – it’s amazing.
What’s your morning routine?
After I’ve done my exercises, when my wife’s still in bed. I’ll dance the cha-cha-cha naked just to give her a treat! It certainly wakes her up!
You are still a judge on the American version Dancing With The Stars. Will you ever retire?
You can’t sit around watching Homes Under The Hammer all day and expect to be content. You need to stay busy. I like working. On days off, I potter in the garden, play golf and spend time with my beautiful grandchildren. My initials are LG, and that spells “life’s good” – and it really is.
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