Len Goodman will appear on Strictly Come Dancing this year

Len Goodman b

Len Goodman says he'll return to Strictly Come Dancing this year.

Len left the show last year as head judge but says he'll make a comeback for the upcoming series.

It won't be as a judge, of course, but Len told BBC's The One Show that he'll definitely take up a seat in the audience during the live shows to watch from the sidelines.

Len went on to praise his replacement, ballroom and Latin dancer Shirley Ballas.

"She is a fantastic dancer. What she doesn’t know about ballroom and Latin, you don’t want to know!" Len raved. "She’s a terrific dancer and I’m sure she’s got a great personality."

Speaking earlier this year, Shirley said of joining Strictly: “I am so excited and over the moon to have been given this wonderful opportunity. I can’t wait to get in to the ballroom and be part of the incredible and respected judging panel.

"Strictly is so loved by the British public, I have always been a massive fan. I just can’t wait!"

Meanwhile, the BBC has also confirmed that Darcey Bussell, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli will all be back this year.

On stepping down in 2016, Len 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."

He 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.”

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