‘Strictly Come Dancing’: Kevin Clifton Backs Pro Dancer To Take Over From Len Goodman, As Joanne Clifton Eyes Panel Role

The Head Judge is bowing out of the show after 13 years.

Strictly Come Dancing’ professional Kevin Clifton has backed a fellow pro dancer to take over from the departing Len Goodman as a judge.

The head panellist is making his last live appearance on the BBC ballroom show during Saturday’s (17 December) final, with pro dancers Brendan Cole and Anton Du Beke among those tipped to replace him.

<strong>Len Goodman is leaving 'Strictly Come Dancing'</strong>
Len Goodman is leaving 'Strictly Come Dancing'
Ian West/PA Wire

Kevin, who joined ‘Strictly’ in 2013 and is partnering finalist Louise Redknapp this year, has now claimed that wile he would not want to take on the role himself, he would not mind being judged by one of his contemporaries.

Speaking to The Huffington Post UK and other journalists at a press conference ahead of the final, he said: “Me personally, I’m happy being a dancer at the moment, but if it is one of the other pros who becomes a judge I’d be happy with that, if that’s the direction they go in.

“They’re the best bunch of pros in existence, they know their stuff…”

<strong>Kevin Clifton with wife and fellow pro dancer, Karen</strong>
Kevin Clifton with wife and fellow pro dancer, Karen
Doug Peters/Doug Peters

Kevin’s sister Joanne, who is paired with Ore Oduba, admitted she would relish the chance to take over from Len - if only to torture her sibling.

“I’d like to be on the panel - I’d judge him!” she cackled. “I’d love to criticise my own brother, that would be great!”

Danny Mac’s professional partner Oti Mabuse also had her say on who she thinks should take over, adding: “I think production will do a good job of choosing who will be a judge.

“My sister is actually a judge on the German ‘Strictly’ and it’s such a big responsibility because you have to be honest and true to yourself. Sometimes the dancers don’t take well to it, or the celebrities don’t understand it, so it is a really big responsibility.

“I don’t think personally I would like to sit there because I love creating, I love choreographing - it’s what I do. Or maybe just not yet…”

<strong>Kevin and his sister Joanne both have partners in this weekend's final</strong>
Kevin and his sister Joanne both have partners in this weekend's final

As well as Anton and Brendan, former professional dancer Karen Hardy has been linked to Len’s spot on the panel, as has ‘Dancing With The Stars Australia’ judge Helen Richey.

Len recently named Anton, Brendan, Karen or ‘It Takes Two’ regular and former pro Ian Waite as his picks to take over from him.

<strong>Brendan Cole and Anton Du Beke are both in the running to replace Len</strong>
Brendan Cole and Anton Du Beke are both in the running to replace Len
Ian West/PA Wire

“I do hope they pick somebody from the world of ballroom and Latin,” he said. “I just hope it would be someone that wouldn’t upset the balance.

“We’ve got Darcey [Bussell] from ballet, Craig [Revel Horwood] from musical theatre and directing and Bruno [Tonioli] from pop videos and choreographing. So I think you need someone who says, ‘Oh you did a heel there’.”

It was recently claimed Darcey could step up to become Head Judge after Len’s departure, as Craig and Bruno have admitted they do not want the top job.

The ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ final airs tonight at 6.40pm on BBC One.

Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole

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