Dancing with the Stars has announced that the famed trophy will be renamed and redesigned in honour of one of the longtime cornerstones of the competition show, the late judge Len Goodman.
“The Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy will now be lifted on Dancing With the Stars like the Vince Lombardi trophy is lifted at the Super Bowl,” executive producer Conrad Green told USA Today on Sept. 20. “We wanted to make Len a permanent part of this show, to always remind people the importance he’s had to Dancing With the Stars and how much he meant to all of us.”
Len Goodman passed away in April of this year at the age of 78 after privately battling bone cancer.
“It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78,” Len’s rep said in an April 24 statement obtained by NBC News . “A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”
Len had announced his retirement from DWTS the previous November, confirming on-air that the show’s 31st season would be his last, after 17 years.
“While we are all getting excited and looking forward so much to the finale next week, it will also be with a touch of sadness,” Len said during the Nov. 14 episode. “As this will be my last season judging on Dancing With the Stars.”
“I’ve been with the show since it started in 2005,” he added. “It has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show. I’ve decided I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.”
This year’s ballroom will see Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli returning as judges, and will be hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough.