13/07/2016 11:36 BST

'Strictly Come Dancing' 2016: Len Goodman To Step Down As Judge After New Series

'I’m looking forward to my last series very much and to whatever comes next.'

Len Goodman has announced he is stepping down from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ at the end of the next series.

The BBC dancing show’s current Head Judge has confirmed that 2016’s series will be his last, having appeared on the panel every year since ‘Strictly’ launched in 2004. 

Ian West/PA Wire
Len Goodman is stepping down from 'Strictly Come Dancing'

Explaining his decision to quit, 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.

“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.”

Charlotte Moore, Director of Content at BBC added: “I know we are all going to miss him tremendously, but I also know Len’s final series is going to be full of unmissable moments and I hope audiences will give him the special send-off he so deserves.”

Len has also served as a judge on the US version of the show, ‘Dancing With The Stars’, but quit his role in 2015, only to return for the most recent series. 

Len with fellow judges Darcey Bussell, Craig Revel-Horwood and Bruno Tonioli. 

This year, Len will sit on the ‘Strictly’ panel alongside fellow returning judges Craig Revel-Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell.

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will also be back on presenting duties. 

Anthony Harvey via Getty Images
Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will return to present

Rumours are already swirling about which famous faces will be getting their dancing shoes on, with stars from the worlds of TV, music and modelling all set for the show.

Names including singer Louise Redknappdaytime TV star Judge Rinder, presenter Angelica Bell, Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker, ‘Downton Abbey’ actress Michelle Dockery, TV presenter Laura Whitmore, US singer Anastacia, pop singer Will Young and model Daisy Lowe are already in the mix, with more bound to join them in the coming weeks.

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ returns for its 14th series in the autumn. 

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