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Carrie Ann Inaba pays emotional tribute to DWTS co-star Len Goodman following his death

The DWTS and Strictly Come Dancing judge passed away aged 78

Carrie Ann Inaba with Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli
Hanna Fillingham
Hanna FillinghamUS Managing Editor
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Carrie Ann Inaba has paid a heartbreaking tribute to Dancing with the Stars' co-star Len Goodman, following his death from bone cancer aged 78.

 The talented dancer took to Instagram on Monday shortly after the news broke to share an emotional statement, accompanied by never-before-seen footage of the pair together - which can be seen in the video below. 

She wrote: "A Dancer. A teacher. A refined gentleman. A wonderful storyteller. A special soul. A mentor. A family man. And… A treasured friend.

VIDEO: Carrie Ann Inaba pays tribute to Len Goodman following his death

 "Saying goodbye at the end of last season broke my heart. But today’s news has shattered it all over again. I can’t believe that you’re gone. 

"You were one of a kind my dear friend. And I will cherish our memories and hold them close, while I join so many others in mourning your loss. 

MORE: Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman dies aged 78 

MORE: DWTS judge Len Goodman looks incredible in throwback photo from the seventies

"Thank you for all that you shared with us. Your humor, your wisdom, your wit and your truth. 

"Until we meet again… Rest In Peace Len." 

The ballroom dancer died peacefully in a hospice in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, leaving the dancing world heartbroken, with tribute pouring in from his co-stars. 

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Of his sad passing, Len's agent Jackie Gill said in a statement: "It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78.

 "A much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him." 

MORE: Carrie Ann Inaba in tears during DWTS 31 premiere

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A spokesperson for Len told the MailOnline: 'I can confirm he died peacefully over the weekend surrounded by his family." 

Len was a much-loved TV personality, best known for being head judge on Dancing with the Stars from 2005 until his recent departure in November last year. He also held the role of head judge on the UK's Strictly Come Dancing, from 2004 until 2016. 

MORE: Carrie Ann Inaba inundated with support as she shares heartfelt statement concerning her mental health

Speaking about his decision to leave the show at the time, he said it had been a "huge pleasure", adding: "But I've decided I'd like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain."

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