Len Goodman's Dancing Years

Episodes

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010120101116

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman takes us through the music he has loved and danced to, over the years, sharing poignant and funny stories with the Radio 2 listeners.

From those first stumbling steps as a boy dancer in the 50s; the Dual of the Champions at the Royal Albert Hall in the 70s; to his present role judging fleckles and lock steps on Strictly Come Dancing; Len dips in to his record collection and shares the stories that accompany them.

The three-part series covers ballroom dancing, Latin American dance, and in the final instalment he picks personal favourites from across the musical genres.

In episode one, Strictly Ballroom, Len waltzes, tangos, foxtrots and quicksteps through music by artists such as Sammy Davis Jr, Dinah Washington, Robbie Williams, the Joe Loss Orchestra, Van Morrison and Nat King Cole.

We hear how Len's restaurant bill was quietly paid by Rod Stewart; why he bribed the spotlight operators in a big competition; how he's becoming a grumpy old man; and how he first discovered the music of Paolo Nutini.

Len Goodman waltzes, tangos and foxtrots through the music he has danced to all his life.

010220101123

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman continues to take us through the music he has loved and danced to, over the years, sharing poignant and funny stories with the Radio 2 listeners.

Although Strictly Come Dancing portrays Head Judge Len as the "ballroom king", it was the Latin American dances that really gave him his mojo.

In fact it was Earl Bostic's track, Flamingo, which gave him his "Eureka" moment.

He was finally able to translate his passion for the music into the dynamic rhythms of the samba, cha cha cha, jive, rumba and paso doble.

As usual, accompanying Len's choice of dancing music are his stories.

From those first Latin moves in the 60s; to winning the Duel of the Giants at the Royal Albert Hall in the 70s; to judging the debacle that was John Sergeant's Paso Doble in Strictly Come Dancing; Len plays the music that really gets him swinging his hips and tapping his toes.

Tracks familiar to Radio 2 audiences include Sway by Julie London; Hit the Road Jack by Ray Charles; Brazil by Edmundo Ros; Tom Jones' Kiss; and Marc Bolan's I Love to Boogie.

Len Goodman continues to share the music he has loved, and danced to, over the years.

0103 LAST20101130

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman concludes his tour of the music he has loved and danced to, over the years.

Len built his dancing career on ballroom and Latin dances, but he loves all music - both old and new - and has demonstrated or competed in most styles of dance.

In this final programme, Len shares with us his love of dances which are not formally classed as either Latin or ballroom and the music that goes with them.

Along with many people, he loves show tunes and West Side Story is his favourite musical of all time.

The film Saturday Night Fever, meanwhile, inspired him to create disco moves for the hundreds of youngsters who passed through the doors of his dance school yearning to be the next John Travolta.

And there are more dances to find out about - this week it's the salsa, the mambo and the dance of the 1920s flappers - the Charleston.

Tracks include Fat Sam's Grand Slam from Bugsy Malone, Flamingo by Earl Bostic, Night Fever by the Bee Gees and Taco's Putting on the Ritz.

Len Goodman concludes his tour of the music he has loved and danced to over the years.

0201Strictly Ballroom20121224

Len waltzes, tangos, foxtrots and quicksteps through the music he's listened and danced to throughout his life.

In Strictly Ballroom we hear how only judicious use of knicker elastic rescues him from a dancing and sartorial disaster; how he inadvertently melted the LPs belonging to a world champion and how he spent his first ever wage packet on a jar of pickled walnuts and a ticket to see Frank Sinatra.

And as usual, woven around Len's anecdotes are the backgrounds to the dances themselves and the tracks of music to which Len used to perform his fleckles and heel and toe steps, including favourites such as Andy Williams, The Stranglers, Van Morrison, Frank Sinatra and Etta James.

0202Strictly Latin20121225

Len Goodman tells stories from his life and shakes his booty to Shakira and Tom Jones.

Despite his portrayal on Strictly Come Dancing as the "ballroom king", Len's heart belongs to the Latin dances. In this episode, Strictly Latin, we samba, rumba, jive, paso doble and cha cha cha to some of his favourite tracks.

Memories include the time he taught his first samba class, realising too late he had taught both the men and women the backwards steps; the special present he received from Little Richard and of his "Boys' Night Out" with his Dad to see the Harlem Globetrotters.

And to accompany his stories, Len plays the music that really gets him swinging his hips and tapping his toes, including John Paul Young, Sergio Mendes and the Black Eyed Peas, Shakira, Tom Jones and Peggy Lee.

0203 LASTStrictly Personal20121226

Hear about Len Goodman's diamond-smuggling friend Hank and why Gene Kelly is his hero.