Derek Hough Says Len Goodman’s Death was “Huge Shock”

Len Goodman Derek Hough Dancing with the Stars
photo credit: Disney

Derek Hough says Dancing with the Stars co-star Len Goodman’s Death was a “huge shock”

Derek Hough opened up about the loss of his Dancing with the Stars co-star Len Goodman following his death.

On the latest episode of the Whine Down with Jana Kramer podcast, Derek revealed that he knew that Len was “uwell” but was not aware of his his bone cancer diagnosis.

“We certainly didn’t know the extent [of his illness] — we had no idea the extent — because this was a huge shock to all of us,” he told host Jana Kramer. “And it’s incredibly sad.”

“Countless tears and phone calls”

Derek said that he has shared “countless tears and phone calls” with their mutual friends and colleagues, talking about “how much we just love the guy and how lucky we are and how lucky we were to spend as much time with him as we did.”

“I feel incredibly emotional and sad about it,” he said of Len’s passing. “And then at the same time, I feel so grateful that the last season that we shared together… I really savored the moments I spent with him and we were playful with each other and we had these one on one conversations.”

Len gave Derek a beautiful and hilarious parting gift

Before his retirement from Dancing with the Stars in 2022, Len gave Hough a parting gift.

“I walked in my dressing room when there’s this giant picture of Len. It was framed, beautiful gold frame and it’s a picture of him and it had this handwritten message from him.”

“It was so beautiful, but also like, inappropriate humor. Like, funny,” he added. “It was a hilarious thing he wrote as well. And it was signed by him… I was just so touched and moved by that. Just thinking how our lives were so intertwined.”

Derek met Len at 12 years of age while he studied ballroom dance in London, mentioning on the show that Len judged him in competition back then.

Derek will pay tribute to Len on tour

“I just keep thinking back and some of these memories and these moments, and just thinking again, just how fortunate we were to have had him for so long on the show, at least, but he certainly went far too soon in life,” Derek shared.

He plans to pay tribute to Len on his upcoming Symphony of Dance tour “without a doubt,” adding, “I think not only just for us, but I think honestly for the audience. You know, I think that a lot of the audience that will come to the show will also also in a way [be] mourning this guy that they’ve watched for 20 years on TV.”

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!