She is one of the amazing stars on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel. But in a new interview with HELLO!, Darcey Bussell has revealed she is missing former head judge Len Goodman. The 49-year-old, who joined the series in 2012, confessed that although all the judges have an incredible time together, she does rather feel Len's absence. "The panel, we're all from different strengths in the dance world," she explained. "Everybody gets a little excited and we all have our opinions which is really healthy."
Darcey Bussell joined the Strictly gang in 2012
The professional ballet dancer added: "I will always miss Len, love him to bits. I suppose I did so many years with him, and he gave me so much advice." Now in her seventh year on the judging panel, with Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli, Darcey previously admitted that she is "more confident in who I am and what I do" on the show. The empathy she shows contestants - she is unfailingly measured and fair - is part of that. "It's much easier to be cruel because it's easier to identify the things that go wrong," she said. "It's much harder to try and see the best bits and strengths coming through."
It's been a special year for Darcey, who received her honour for services to dance from the Queen in May. Speaking about her damehood, she explained: "It's a pretty strange feeling being a dame. I know a lot of my friends have a lot of fun telling me, 'Hi Dame Darce.' But it does roll off the tongue which is quite funny." The star added: "It was slightly surreal, the whole preparation towards coming in and not actually realising that the Queen was going to give me my honour which was extraordinary. It's so lovely to be recognised especially to represent the ballet. I feel incredibly proud."
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