Why Len Goodman Is Leaving 'Dancing With the Stars' as Judge After 17 Years

Len Goodman has confirmed he's leaving Dancing With the Stars and that next week's finale will mark his last episode as head judge.

The star, 78, has been on the panel of the Disney+ ballroom competition since the show began in 2005 and this year has been judging alongside Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.

Season 31 of Dancing With the Stars, which boasts celebrities like Gabby Windey, Shangela and Wayne Brady in the cast, is almost at the end, with the grand finale set to take place on Monday, November 21.

During the semifinal, co-hosted by Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribeiro, on November 14, head judge Goodman announced the sad news that he won't return next year.

Len Goodman Dancing With the Stars
Len Goodman, who has been a judge on "Dancing With the Stars" since 2005. He has confirmed he's leaving the show. Raymond Liu/ABC

Newsweek has everything you need to know about Len Goodman's Dancing With the Stars exit, including the reason he gave for leaving.

Why Is Len Goodman Leaving?

Goodman shocked everyone by announcing that Season 31 will be his last outing as a judge on Dancing With the Stars.

He told the audience at Monday's live show: "I'm looking forward to next week's finale. It's also with a touch of sadness as this will be my last season judging on Dancing with the Stars. I've been with the show since it started in 2005 and it has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show."

Dancing With the Stars judges
Len Goodman has been head judge on Season 31 of "Dancing With the Stars." Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough are also on the panel. Raymond Liu/ABC

Revealing why he is stepping back from his duties Goodman, who runs a ballroom dance school in the U.K, explained that it's due to his personal life.

"I've decided I'd like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain," he confirmed

Goodman has one son, James William Goodman, who was born in 1981, and in 2016 James welcomed his own daughter, Alice. Len's family are based in the U.K., where the star, who was born in Bethnal Green in London, was also a judge on Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 till 2016.

In his speech, Goodman was full of praise for the Dancing With the Stars co-stars and crew that he has worked with for so long, saying: "I cannot thank you enough, the Dancing With the Stars family. It's been such a wonderful experience and I'm looking so much to next week's finale. I'm sure it's going to be absolutely brilliant."

Newsweek has contacted representatives for Goodman and Dancing With the Stars for comment.

DWTS Daniel and Britt, Trevor and Emma
Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart, and Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater. They were all eliminated during the "Dancing With the Stars" semifinals. Raymond Liu/ABC

Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater, and Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart, were eliminated from Dancing With the Stars during the double elimination on the semifinals.

This means Shangela and Gleb Savchenko, Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy, Wayne Brady and Witney Carson, and Charli D'Amelio and Mark Ballas will compete in the finale.

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Disney+. Episodes will be available to stream an hour after their original airing.