Former Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman has died aged 78.

He became a judge on the show in 2004 and his final appearance was on the 2016 Christmas Day special.

A statement from his agent said: “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.”

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Len GoodmanLen Goodman was described as a ‘much-loved husband, father and grandfather’ (PA)

Goodman began dancing at 19, winning various competitions including the British Championships in Blackpool in his late 20s, after which he retired.

He was replaced as head judge on the BBC show by Shirley Ballas.

Goodman also served as head judge on Dancing With The Stars, the US version of the show, for more than 15 years until announcing his retirement in November last year.

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He said at the time that he wanted to “spend more time with my grandchildren and family” back in the UK.

Goodman was also a recipient of the Carl Alan Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to dance.

As well as his successful dancing and television career, he is also the owner of the Goodman Academy, a dance school in Dartford, Kent.