Len Goodman - Book SigningAfter months of speculation, "Dancing With the Stars" has confirmed that longtime judge Len Goodman will be vacating his post for the upcoming 21st season of the reality competition series.

"DWTS" executive producer Rob Wade released a statement announcing the news, revealing that several other conflicts precluded Goodman from continuing with his judging duties.

"Len will not be returning as a judge this season on 'Dancing With the Stars' due to his schedule as a judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing' in the U.K. and the birth of his new grandson," Wade's statement said. "He still might be involved in the season at some capacity, but we will have to wait and see. We are planning on having great guest judges for some shows to join Bruno (Tonioli), Carrie Ann (Inaba) and Julianne (Hough), and I'm sure we will see Len in the ballroom again soon."

The announcement isn't a huge shock, since Wade had previously indicated that Goodman was on the fence about returning, and Goodman himself initially said he would leave "DWTS" before last season, the show's landmark 20th, only to stick around after all. But Goodman's commitments to "Strictly," the U.K. version of "Dancing," just became too much, and the judge reportedly was tired of making multiple trans-Atlantic flights to participate in both programs.

For now, Goodman's spot will be filled by a rotating panel of guest judges; a permanent fourth judge will not be named. Goodman may return for season 22, though that has not yet been confirmed (and may change depending on how the upcoming seasons of "Dancing" and "Strictly" shake out).

"Dancing With the Stars" returns for its 21st season on September 14 on ABC.

[via: Variety]

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