Monday 23 July 2018

Strictly’s Len Goodman reveals nerves ahead of quiz show role

He said he was worried he would let people down.

Len Goodman (Graeme Hunter/BBC)
Len Goodman (Graeme Hunter/BBC)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Former Strictly Come Dancing star Len Goodman has spoken about the nerves he felt about “letting everyone down” in his first role as a game show host.

The TV star stepped down as head judge on the BBC dancing competition at the end of the last series but will return to screens this weekend at the helm of new show Partners In Rhyme.

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Len Goodman on Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC)

Goodman, 73, who sat on the judging panel from the first series of Strictly in 2004 and said he felt nervous about carrying a programme on his own.

He said: “We’re all frightened of doing anything you’ve never done before because you doubt yourself.

“I thought, ‘Say I do it and I’m an absolute drip, and I can’t do it and they’ve paid all this money for this big production thing and I’m useless at it, I’m letting everyone down, people will be looking at home and saying ‘Oh he’s hopeless’.”

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Goodman on Partners In Rhyme (Graeme Hunter/BBC)

“So there is that sort of nervous thing about it, but I overcome my nerves, I had fighting spirit, ‘Come on Lenny boy you can do it’, so I did it.

“When I first did Strictly I had never done anything on television and I said to the producer lady ‘I’m a bit sort of anxious, live and everything’, and she said ‘be yourself and be honest’.

!And that’s what I’ve tried to do, and that’s what I’ve tried to do with everything, be myself and be honest, and if you do that I think that comes over.

“It’s when you try and be what you’re not that you get caught out a bit.”

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On the judging pane on Strictly Come Dancing ( Kieron McCarron/BBC)

Goodman said it was equally important to him to keep on working after he stepped down from Strictly.

He said: “I am taking it easier. People thought I was going to retire and it was not in my intention to retire, you must never retire.

“One of the joys of work is that you get a day off. You work a week or three days, four days and then, ‘Oh lovely, I’ve got two days off’.

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Graeme Hunter/BBC)

“Once you retire, you never get a day off. It’s good to work and it’s good to do a bit.

“But once you get to a certain age, you haven’t got to work incessantly.

“So what I do now is great really. If I fancy doing it I do it, and if I think ‘Oh God I don’t wanna do that’, then I don’t do it.”

Goodman added that he had also turned down other projects because he did not think he was right for them.

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Ian Hislop and Paul Merton of Have I Got News For You (Steve Brown/BBC)

He said: “I was asked to do Have I got News For You but I’m too dumb. They’re so clever. I love the programme, I think it’s brilliant, but I’d make myself look an absolute … they’re so quick … and I’d be sitting there.

Partners In Rhyme, based on a party game called Obama Llama will see contestants and celebrities team up to play rounds all based on rhymes.

Len Goodman’s Partners in Rhyme is on BBC One on Saturday at 6.45pm.

Press Association

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