Gary Edwards

Strictly judge favourite Gary Edwards addresses speculation he's replacing Len Goodman

Sharnaz Shahid

Gary Edwards has addressed rumours that he is in line to join the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel, revealing he hasn't heard from BBC bosses. The 50-year-old, who is affectionately known as the Ballroom Giant, is hotly tipped to replace retired head judge Len Goodman. "The whole thing has been like a roller coaster," Gary said on Friday's This Morning. "My phone rang and I picked it up and my friend was like, 'You're all over the papers!'"

The professional dancer - who has appeared on Dancing With the Stars: All Access, a spinoff show to the American version of Strictly - went on the admit that he has thought about the coveted position. "It has gone through my head and I did say to my mum I could end up as the guy who didn't get the job," he teased. "But the way I look at it is - you're not replacing Len, he's the matriarch of a family. Strictly is in the blood of the English people - Len is that matriarch, so whoever goes in is not going to be a replacement for Len. It's going to be a new beginning. The pressure of knowing that he's at home watching you would be the biggest pressure."

gary

Gary Edwards has addressed rumours that he is in line to join the Strictly judging panel

Essex-born Gary is a childhood friend of Len after meeting him at dance classes when he was seven years old. Known for his ballroom abilities, the Strictly favourite has won 30 international titles including British Open Ballroom and British Open Latin. Other stars tipped to take the seat include, former Strictly star Karen Hardy as well as current dancers Anton Du Beke and Brendan Cole.

Find out which favourites are tipped to be Len Goodman's replacement on Strictly

Strictly co-host Tess Daly recently revealed that the new judge should be announced by April. Speaking backstage at the National Television awards, she said: "We don't know. There are a few people in the mix. It's still under discussion. I'd imagine by the end of April we'll have some news."

len

Gary is hotly tipped to replace retired head judge Len Goodman

Earlier this week, Anton addressed the rumours during an appearance on Lorraine: "No one can replace Len. Len took a long time to be Len and he's unique so no, no-one can be the new Len… I don't know who's going to take the available chair." When quizzed about the possibility of taking over, the 50-year-old diplomatically replied: "From my own personal opinion, I think it's important that they have a ballroom person on the panel. Just for balance."

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