Peterborough gymnast and dancing champion Louis Smith pays tribute to Strictly Come Dancing star Len Goodman

Len would have celebrated his 79th birthday on Tuesday
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A Peterborough Olympian has paid tribute to Len Goodman who has died, aged 78.

Louis Smith, from Eye, won Strictly Come Dancing in 2012, taking home the glitterball with Flavia Cacace just months after his success at the London 2012 Games.

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Paying tribute to Len Goodman – who died on Saturday night – Louis described Len as: “A wonderful, strong and charismatic soul is now resting. Very sad.”

Len, a dancer and choreographer, and head judge on Strictly, had been diagnosed with bone cancer and passed away on 22 April.

Craig Revel Horwood who lives between Peterborough and Rutland Tweeted: “I’ve just woken up to the sad news that my gorgeous colleague and dear friend Len Goodman has passed away.

"My heart and love go out to his lovely Sue and family.

"Len Goody Goodman is what I always called him and “It’s a ten from Len & seveeeeern” will live with me forever. RIP Len.”

Peterborough gymnast Louis Smith has paid tribute his former dancing judge, Len Goodman (images: Getty).Peterborough gymnast Louis Smith has paid tribute his former dancing judge, Len Goodman (images: Getty).
Peterborough gymnast Louis Smith has paid tribute his former dancing judge, Len Goodman (images: Getty).
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A statement from Len’s 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.”

Len 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.

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