BBC Strictly Come Dancing former judges now from tragic death to ‘feud’

Strictly Come Dancing is about to kick off its’ unbelievable 21st series tonight, as the latest batch of celebs get ready to battle it out on the dancefloor.

Over its’ staggering two-decade run, the show has seen more than 300 stars put on their dancing shoes in the hopes of impressing the notoriously hard to please judging panel.

The current judging panel is made up of former pro dancer Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, and head judge Shirley Ballas.

But what has happened to the judges from days gone by? We take a trip down memory lane…

Len Goodman

Len Goodman was one of the longest-serving judges on the show and helped launch the series back in 2004.

A year later, he became the head judge on the US edition of the show, Dancing With The Stars

He sat on the Strictly panel for 12 years until 2016 and continued working on Dancing With The Stars until 2022 when he announced he would be retiring from TV to focus on spending more time with his family.

However, he sadly passed away on 22 April 2023 in a hospice after privately suffering from bone cancer.

Tributes poured in for the beloved TV star, with Strictly presenter Claudia Winkleman calling the ballroom dancer “a class act” full of “twinkle, warmth and wit.”

Dame Arlene Phillips

Arlene Phillips was another original Strictly judge, joining the panel back in 2004.

Despite rapidly cementing herself as a fan favourite, Arlene, 80, was controversially dropped from the show in 2008 – and sparked an ageism row when her replacement was revealed to be Alesha Dixon, a pop star 36 years Arlene’s junior.

Arlene later admitted that she should have asked for “a damn apology” from the BBC.

Since her departure, Arlene has gone on to work on dancing shows So You Think You Can Dance? and Over The Rainbow, and returned to the spotlight in 2021 when she starred on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in the Welsh castle.

The pro is currently choreographing musical The Cher Show, and boasts choreographer credits for the West End musicals Grease, Saturday Night Fever and We Will Rock You.

Alesha Dixon

Arlene Phillip’s replacement Alesha Dixon, 44, lasted just three years on the show, and sat on the judging panel between 2009 and 2011.

Her stint as a judge came after she won the show alongside pro Matthew Cutler in 2007.

In 2011, she quit to join Britain’s Got Talent as a judge – which was probably the right decision, as she still stars on the show today.

She’s also judged the long-running show’s sister series America’s Got Talent and Australia’s Got Talent in 2020 and 2022 respectively.

Darcey Bussell

Ballet legend Darcey Bussell took over Alesha’s spot on the panel after she quit in 2012, and remained a staple of Strictly until 2018.

The former Royal Ballet principal dancer, 54, admitted that she wasn’t “suited” to the show and said that she found it difficult to respond live as she likes to have time “to think.”

Darcey also confessed to feeling envious and “wanting to be the dancer on that dancefloor” rather than watching from the sidelines.

However, she was plagued by rumours of a “feud” with fellow judge Shirley Bassey.

But defiant Darcey shut down speculation that behind the scenes drama had influenced her decision to leave.

In 2018, the ex Ballerina said: “f course I get on with Shirley. She's hysterical, she's got a great sense of humour, and I totally respect her amazing amount of knowledge. She's great to be with.”

She then added that it might be down to the fact that they were two women, saying “I wonder if we were in two suits, they would treat us different.”

Since leaving Strictly, she’s launched a social enterprise, Move Assure, aimed at helping people dance for mental wellbeing and become the chair of the board of trustees at the Plymouth Theatre Royal.

    Source: Read Full Article