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All you need to know about late Strictly star Len Goodman's wife and children

The Dancing With the Stars judge has sadly passed away aged 78


Len Goodman sits at judges desk on DWTS
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
24 April 2023
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The nation was devastated to learn of the passing of former Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing With the Stars head judge Len Goodman. The professional ballroom dancer-turned-TV-judge died aged 78 "surrounded by his family" at a hospice in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, his agent confirmed in a statement.

Len's friends, colleagues and fans have been sharing tributes to him on social media, posting pictures and videos to remember fond memories they shared. Fellow Strictly legends like Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli and more have also shared their heartbreak. Meanwhile, the heartfelt tributes also included well-wishes to Len's family including his wife, "Wonderful Sue", as he often called her.

Find out more about Len's marriage, children and family below. 

WATCH: Len Goodman's best moments

Who is Len Goodman's wife?

Len often publicly referred to his wife, Sue Barrett, as "My Wonderful Sue". The pair have been together for over 20 years and in 2012 tied the knot to become husband and wife.

The BBC star previously opened up about their decision to get married ten years into their relationship. He told the Daily Mail: "I knew I'd found the woman I wanted to be with for the rest of my life so why not get married? I've said before I'm selfish and that doesn't equate well for marriage, but My Wonderful Sue got that out of me. I've become totally unselfish, and I think that's because it's true love."

MORE: Len Goodman's cause of death revealed - what is bone cancer? 

MORE: Janette Manrara shares cryptic post as Strictly pro line-up confirmed

Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman with Bruno Tonioli© GETTY
Len Goodman was a judge on Dancing With the Stars

Len and Sue, who was also a dance teacher, lived at their home in Kent near where they ran their own ballroom dance school.

Prior to his relationship and subsequent marriage with Sue, Len was previously married to Cherry Kingston. Also a dancer, Cherry married Len in 1972 but the union was not to last and they later divorced.

Did Len Goodman have children?

Yes, Len Goodman welcomed one son with his former partner, Lesley. Although Len and Lesley did not marry, they welcomed James Goodman in January 1981. However, the couple split and when James was 12 he went to live with his mother on the Isle of Wight.

Len's son James tends to keep away from the spotlight but it seems he picked up his talent for dancing from his father and, in 2012, James reportedly began taking lessons at his dad's dance school, Goodman Dance Centre.

Len's former Strictly colleagues paid tribute to him© GETTY
Len's former Strictly colleagues paid tribute to him

Who is in Len Goodman's extended family?

Not only was Len a proud father, but he was also a proud grandfather. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Len previously opened up about his adoration for James' two children, Alice, aged seven, and Dan, aged three.

"I've got two wonderful grandchildren, Alice and Dan, they're terrific," the former Strictly star said in 2022. "With grandchildren, you have all the joy without the responsibility, because you can just hand them back."

Len's grandchildren were also a large factor in his decision to quit Dancing With the Stars. The US-based competition meant Len had to travel extensively between home and the States and, in November 2022, he explained he wanted to remain in the UK to spend more time with his family. 

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