Len Goodman’s VERY surprising replacement as head judge revealed

Strictly NOT even hinted at before...

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Darcey Bussell is being lined up as the new Strictly Come Dancing head judge.

The 47-year-old has been a permanent member of the judging panel on the ballroom and latin show since 2012.

Reports have now suggested that the former prima ballerina will be promoted to the chief position after Len Goodman, 72, leaves, while the broadcaster hires a new fourth judge.

This all comes as something of a surprise as Darcey has been on the judging panel the least amount of time.

However, a source was quoted as telling The Sun that the other judges – Bruno Tonioli, 62, and Craig Revel Horwood, 51, – did not want the job, which comes with the power to decide who to save from the chop when the judges are tied.

It’s a pretty big deal…

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“Bruno and Craig have both made it clear they’re not looking for a promotion – and Darcey is extremely well thought of,” a source told the newspaper.

“They’ll be more than happy to work with her and won’t kick up a fuss.”

But a BBC spokesman said: “Anything regarding any future judging line-ups is pure speculation.”

He said all efforts are focused on making this weekend’s final – in which Len bows out – a spectacular show.

“We are currently focusing on making Len’s last series the best yet,” he said.

Aw Len, please don’t go…

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After a stint as guest judge, Darcey signed up to Strictly full-time in 2012 when Alesha Dixon quit for Britain’s Got Talent.

Len, whose final appearance will be on the pre-recorded Christmas Day special, has been head judge since the show started in 2004.

The show will not be the same without him…

Meanwhile, Len has made a surprising confession about one of the most controversial moments of this year’s series…

Cast your minds back to the second weekend of October, when Will and his partner Karen Clifton danced a salsa.

Len Goodman

After the dance, there was a clash between Will and Len. The professional commented on a lack of salsa in the routine, but when Will interrupted his flow to protest the criticism, the judge barked at the singer to “turn up, keep up and shut up”.

According to Len, he was actually going to give Will some words of encouragement but after he was snapped at, he changed tack.

Len, 72, told The Sun: “I would have liked to have seen a bit more salsa content and he said ‘well there was 24 bars of recognisable’ and I said ‘well I didn’t see it’.

Will Young

“I then said ‘turn up, keep up and shut up’. I was going to say ‘turn up, keep up and never give up’ because I had that in my head as a line for some time which would have been nice.

“But because he went on like that and I had that little line in my head it ended up as it ended up.”

Len then said that their row was not the cause of Will’s departure just days later.

“It was unfortunate that he went the week I said to him he has to ‘turn up, keep up and shut up’,” he said.

“But it wasn’t said in a vicious way. I said there wasn’t enough content which really isn’t even a pop at him – it’s a pop at the choreographer.

“I did ask other people if it was because of that he packed it in and I’ve been assured it wasn’t.”

Strictly Come Dancing

Will walked out of the show on October 11 for “personal reasons”.

The grand finale of the current series airs tonight on BBC One at 6.40pm, with either Louise Redknapp, Ore Oduba or Danny Mac set to lift the glitterball trophy.