Dancing with the Stars won't replace late Len Goodman with new judge

len goodman, dancing with the stars
Dancing with the Stars won't replace Len GoodmanABC

Dancing with the Stars has confirmed they won't be replacing late judge Len Goodman on the panel.

The star and former Strictly Come Dancing judge passed away earlier this year aged 78, having stepped away from his Dancing with the Stars commitments last year.

Ahead of the new season's premiere tonight (September 26), executive producer Conrad Green has revealed that the panel will consist only of regulars Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough, and they will not be filling Goodman's chair, explaining that it wasn't in the plan even before his death.

carrie ann inaba, derek hough, len goodman,bruno tonioli, dancing with the stars

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"I've always felt Len is irreplaceable," he told Entertainment Weekly. "He's such an important part of the history of the show and such an important part of the reason the show is successful [with] his honesty, his specialist ballroom knowledge, and him coming genuinely from that world.

"His legacy of what he's brought to the show is amazing. It was never in my mind to replace him.

"When I first spoke to Len about doing the show, he said the reason he wanted to do it was that he wanted to make sure TV didn't screw up ballroom dancing and they did it properly," Green added.

len goodman on dancing with the stars, 2017
Adam Rose via Getty Images

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"He figured if he was on it, he could make sure that they didn't be silly with it or introduce different things. He's always been that guy who's protected ballroom dancing on the show. He will be missed terribly."

However, the producer did tease the possibility of some guest judges throughout the series who "might relate to the theme of that week", or those "who've got other knowledge or insights that they can bring".

Alongside a tribute later in the series, the show is also set to rename the Mirrorball Trophy to the Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy in his honour.

len goodman, dancing with the stars

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"We wanted to make Len a permanent part of this show, to always remind people the importance he's had to Dancing with the Stars and how much he meant to all of us," Green added to USA Today.

Earlier this month, Dancing with the Stars' UK sister show Strictly paid tribute to Goodman in its launch episode, with some of his former colleagues sharing their memories of the late dancer.

Dancing with the Stars streams live on Disney+ in the US.

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