Claudia Winkleman tried to stop Len Goodman quitting Strictly Come Dancing

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Claudia Winkleman has revealed how she tried to stop Len Goodman from quitting Strictly Come Dancing.

The co-host of the BBC One series tried to talk the head judge out of stepping down from the panel after more than a decade.

“I just went straight up to him,” she recalled to the Radio Times magazine. “I almost head butted him when I’d heard [he was leaving] and I went ‘No, that’s not allowed. I like the fact that you’ve got an idea, but it’s not happening’, and he went ‘Claude…’”

Claudia went on: “Oh I hated saying goodbye to Len.

“I love him so much. We sort of couldn’t believe it – we kept on going, ‘He’ll change his mind, he’ll change his mind'.”

Unfortunately for Claudia, Len's decision about leaving Strictly was made up before the previous series had even begun.

Len confirmed in July of last year that the 2016 run would be his last.

He said: “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."

Len added: "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.”

The BBC has yet to announce an official replacement for Len ahead of this year's Strictly Come Dancing in September.

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