Len Goodman’s put-down after snarky exchange with Strictly contestant: ‘Keep up, shut up’

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Len will feature on ‘The Chase: Celebrity Special’ tonight on ITV at 8pm. Bradley Walsh presents as celebrity contestant Nicki Chapman, Will Kirk, Joe Pasquale and Len pit their wits against the Chaser in the hope of winning a cash prize for their charity of choice. They can work as a team or play strategically to answer the general knowledge questions against the clock without being caught by the Chaser.

If the four celebrities fail to make it to the end of the game board however, the prize fund during the final chase is £20,000.

As Len competes on the Chase, the semi-final of his old programme Strictly Come Dancing will be broadcast on BBC One from 7:05pm.

Tess Daly and Claudia Winleman host as John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, Aj Odudu and Kai Widdrington, Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice and Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu battle for a place in the Strictly final.

They will have to learn and perform two routines to impress the judges and viewers at home, and earn a place in next week’s grand final.

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Len was a head judge on the beloved BBC dance programme from its inception in 2004 until 2016.

In his final year on the programme however he was caught in a snarky exchange with contestant Will Young.

The Pop Idol star performed Bollywood-inspired Salsa to Jai Ho from the film Slumdog Millionaire as part of Movie Week. 

Yet when Len said the dance lacked traditional moves, Will disagreed and pointed out that it had plenty.

Len said: “For me, not enough Salsa.

“I loved the dance ‒ it was entertaining, it was fun, but it’s a Salsa and I would have liked more.”

In response, the Leave Right Now singer said: “There are 24 counts of salsa in the routine.”

Len swiftly snapped back: “Well I must say, most of them I didn’t recognise. But my other advice to you is to turn up, keep up and shut up.”

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Will was then allegedly heard saying to a member of production staff: “I don’t need this s***”.

The next day, the singer left the show, citing personal reasons.

Months after the tense altercation Len explained to The Sun: “I was going to say, ‘Turn up, keep up and never give up’, 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.”

Despite the awkward and fiery incident Len insisted it was a shame that Will left the programme.

He said: “It was unfortunate that he went. 

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

That year, Len announced that he would be leaving the show at the end of the series and his final Strictly appearance came on the Christmas Day Special.

He was succeeded the next season as head judge by Shirley Ballas.

Watch Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One at 7:05pm.

Watch The Chase: Celebrity Special’ tonight on ITV at 8pm.

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