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Strictly's Len Goodman shares incredible story about how he became a dancer

Find out why the Holiday of My Lifetime star turned to ballroom dance 

Emmy Griffiths

Len Goodman is currently starring on Holiday of My Lifetime with Len Goodman, and is perhaps best known for being a judge on Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing - but it sounds like his life could have been very different!

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The retired professional dancer turned to ballroom when he was 19, which is much later than people usually start training, after hurting his foot. Working as an apprentice engineer at the time, a doctor suggested that he take dancing lessons to help him improve it. 

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Chatting in an interview with The Guardian back in 2006, he said: "I had an old Scottish doctor who told me to go ballroom dancing. He said it was very good for your feet because you're going up and down a lot. My girlfriend arranged for it all to happen. I really didn't want to go, I kicked up a right fuss. But once I'd been for a couple of weeks, I really loved it. I realised I had a bit of a talent for it." 

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Len got into dancing after hurting his foot

The rest, of course, is history! He continued: "I started very late in life in terms of other professionals - I was 19 - and I only danced for about eight years., and I only won because a couple of other people weren't in it who should have been. I thought, 'Well, I won't win this again', so I thought I'd retire a winner. Then I opened my dancing school." 

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The 76-year-old very much still keeps fit, and told HELLO!: "Bruce Forsyth was the one who said 'Len, when you get up, have a stretch' and I do. I turn and stretch and lift up and circle my arms. I find that it is really good.  "I go to the gym twice a week – I don't go for long; I go for about half an hour, that is all. I do a little bit of cardio on the cross trainer, or I have a little row, but I don't break into sweat, I might get a bit hotter." 

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