Len stepped down from Strictly Come Dancing ahead of last year’s series after more than a decade on the show.
"This adventure began when I was 60 and now that I’ve reached my 70s, I’ve decided after this year it’s time to hand the role of Head Judge to someone else," he said at the time. "It is an honour being part of the wonderful Strictly Come Dancing family and I’m looking forward to my last series very much and to whatever comes next.”
Auditions and screen tests have been held at the Strictly studio in Elstree over the past week and now seven front runners have been chosen.
The Sun reports that they include current pro dancers Anton Du Beke and Brendan Cole as well as former pro and It Takes Two regular Karen Hardy.
Joining them are Irish Dancing With The Stars judges' Loraine Barry and Brian Redmond, currently Strictly choreographer Jason Gilkison and British ballroom champ Shirley Ballas.
The newspaper suggests that although no decision has been made yet, Shirley is seen as the favourite with BBC bosses apparently keen to get another woman on the panel.
An insider told the tabloid: “They are definitely interested in Shirley and she’s the only one they’ve wanted to have another look at, which has to be a good sign.
“She has a ballroom background, like Len, and BBC chiefs are keen to appoint another woman soon now that the audition list has got out."
A BBC spokeswoman commented: “As yet no one has been offered the role of Strictly’s new judge.”