Len Goodman makes his final Strictly Come Dancing appearance ever

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Len Goodman made his final appearance on Strictly Come Dancing tonight.

It was the Christmas special and the show bid farewell to Len after more than a decade behind the judges desk.

Len first announced he would be quitting Strictly after this year's series back in the summer.

He said in a statement at the time: “In 2004, I was asked to take part in a brand new BBC Saturday night show and who would have thought me, old Len Goodman, would still be part of this amazing series more than 10 years on.

“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."

This evening was Len's final appearance on the show as he, Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli marked the festive routines from six former celebrity contestants in the Christmas special.

At the end of the show, Len took to the dancefloor alongside the other judges, hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman as well as the pros and celebs for one very special group performance.

The Strictly Xmas Special is tipped to be the most watched show of Christmas Day in the viewing figures, but Len won't have been watching.

He told the Express newspaper ahead of the episode: "I love Christmas. I love everything about it; I love the telly and all the repeat films they show.

"I never watch myself but sometimes my wife likes to watch the Strictly Special on Christmas Day."

Len admitted: "I don't like looking at myself much on the telly, I always think 'why did you say that you silly little thing' or 'what did you do that for?' or sometimes I notice that my bow-tie gets all crooked and all that so it's best I just don't watch myself."

As for who could be replacing Len on the panel next year, as far as punters at the bookies are concerned there's only one man for the job, and that's the even money favourite Anton Du Beke.

Karen Hardy (8/1) finds herself next in line should Anton carry on dancing, or it's 10/1 apiece Ian Waite or Tom Chambers make a return to the show.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: "Anton's the housewives' favourite, and if there's any one who could attempt to fill the void Len will leave, it's him."

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One next autumn.

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