Anton Du Beke breaks down in tears onstage over death of Len Goodman

Anton Du Beke breaks down over death of Strictly judge Len Goodman

Anton Du Beke, 56, was visibly emotional on Monday as he broke down in tears while performing a Slow Foxtrot in Len Goodman’s honour.

The former Strictly Come Dancing professional was on stage at An Evening with Anton Du Beke and revealed Len was among his oldest pals, adding: “He is the benchmark for all the judges.”

Welling up, Anton said: “I have been like this all day, a disaster. My old pal, Lord Len Goodman. We love you, Len.”

Len, from East London, had bone cancer and died on Saturday, aged 78. He was Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge from 2004 to 2016.

Speaking at the Corn Exchange Theatre in King’s Lynn, Cambs, Anton, who replaced Bruno Tonioli on the judging panel from 2021, added: “I have always tried to take his advice, which is, ‘Be yourself and say what you see’.”

He once again teared up as he paid tribute to Len via video link on Monday’s The One Show.

”I have known him for 40 years as a man, as a boy. I remember him judging me as a young boy,” Du Beke said of his longtime friend.

“I would value his comments above everyone else because he knew exactly what I wanted to do.

“I was lucky to have known him for 40 years. He was a great friend.

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“We would spend hours chatting and laughing. He was a joy to be with. That was the thing about Len, he was a joy to be with and he gave off so much joy.

“I was lucky enough to know him, for a long time, and lucky enough to call him a friend, so I miss him,” Anton said as host Alex Jones became tearful.

Anton also took to social media to pay tribute to Len, posting an emotional statement to Twitter in which he called his friend a “wonderful character”.

He penned: “It’s incredibly difficult to find the words to encapsulate Len, because he was everything but he was also simply, Len.

“I first knew him when I was a young lad and was dancing, he was my dance judge.

“He had a way about him that you really wanted him to like you.

“If Len liked you, it was more important than anyone else liking you.

“A national treasure certainly, but more importantly to me he was my friend.

“I was very lucky to know him. I’m going to miss you, Len,” Anton wrote.

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