10 Things You Didn’t Know About Dancing With The Stars’ Len Goodman
8. Early Life
Leonard Gordon “Len” Goodman was born on April 25, 1944, in Bromley, Kent in England to Leonard Gordon Goodman and Louisa Adelaide. His family did not have a lot of money, and because of bombings due to the war, he and his parents lived with his grandparents in a small house. His grandfather worked at a street stall selling vegetables and fruit and Len would help him. When he was six years old his parents moved to Blackfen, but they did not have a great relationship and three years later his dad left the family, leaving his mother to raise Len alone.
7. Taking Dancing Seriously
As a youngster, Len Goodman was told by his headmaster, “It is obvious you’re never going to amount to anything, Goodman. You’re a failure at school and you’ll be a failure in life.” Due to this he left school at 15 for a different life, and also left behind dancing, and began working as an apprentice welder at the Woolwich dockyards. What he loved most was football, running, and going to clubs to hang out with the mods and rockers. Eventually, Len broke a bone in his foot while playing football and his doctor encouraged him to take up dancing again as a light exercise. It became clear Len had a natural talent, and he was soon partnered with world champion and local coach Henry Kingston’s daughter, Cherry. “I was thrown into a totally new world – a young welder working on the docks – of excitement and glamour of competitive ballroom dancing.” Len and Cherry went on to win the British Exhibition Championships four times and the World Exhibition Championships.