Has Craig Revel Horwood let slip Len Goodman’s replacement?

Strictly's head judge is leaving after this series

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Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood has said he is backing a judge from an Australian television series to be Len Goodman’s replacement.

The sharp-tongued dancing expert said that whoever steps into Len’s position should be a “fresh face” and someone from the “ballroom and Latin world”.

Len has announced he will step down from the BBC One show this year, after leading the judging panel since the programme started 12 years ago.

Following his announcement, reports surfaced saying 71-year-old Helen Richey, an Australian-born ballroom and Latin professional, was the favourite to join the panel.

She has been a judge on Australia’s Dancing With The Stars, while Goodman has been on the judging panel of the American version of the show.

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She lived in the United Kingdom for 27 years where she competed in Latin and ballroom competitions, and she is considered one of the top coaches and judges in her field.

Judge Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood (BBC)

Craig said a new face would “add clout” and while he refused to be drawn on a specific name, he added: “I believe the Australian series has just finished. There is a wonderful woman on there that is available now, and who Len used to dance with, so I’d probably put her up for it.”

The current series of Strictly has just seven celebrity couples remaining, with former shadow chancellor Ed Balls emerging as the people’s favourite.

Undated BBC handout photo of Ed Balls during Saturday's live edition of the BBC1 show, Strictly Come Dancing.

Craig said that due to Ed’s popularity with the British public, he could make the final of the show.

Asked if he has a problem with Ed winning, the 51-year-old dancer and choreographer said: “Well, no, because he is waving a flag for all the couch potatoes at home who sit on their bottoms doing nothing and he is promoting dance, so I can only see that as a good thing.

Ed Balls

“People at home will be watching him thinking ‘I could probably do that’ and that might encourage them to get off their backside and go and do a dance class.

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“If he is the winner of Strictly, I would expect him to be doing interviews waving the dance flag and to continue dancing and to see how far he can actually get.”

Strictly judges

Following the Blackpool showdown this weekend, another celebrity will be waltzing off the show.

Earlier in the week, speaking to Zoe Ball on It Takes Two, ex-Labour MP Balls dismissed claims that he would drop out of the competition.

Craig agreed, saying he did not feel Balls should quit.

Craig Revel Horwood (Ian West)

He added: “The public can do what they like with their phone calls and their money. I’m not going to tell the public how to vote.”

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