Len Goodman died after prostate cancer spread to his bones, his death certificate has revealed.

Mr Goodman, who spent twelve years judging Strictly Come Dancing from its inception in 2004, died suddenly aged 78 in April surrounded by his family in a hospice in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

He had previously been treated for prostate cancer in 2009, but opted to keep the diagnosis a secret from all except close family and confidants. He returned to have his operation only after the U.S. version of Strictly Come Dancing finished filming.

Mr Goodman, speaking exclusively to the Mail on Sunday shortly after his operation at the time, explained: ‘The doctors felt I wasn’t riddled with it and it wasn’t so far advanced that it was a life-or-death scenario. It takes a few weeks to get everything set up for the operation anyway, so I went ahead and did the show.’

While it had been hoped that Mr Goodman had been cured, the cancer later returned.

Len Goodman died of advanced prostate cancer, over a decade after he won his first battle with the disease

Len Goodman died of advanced prostate cancer, over a decade after he won his first battle with the disease

Len Goodman died of advanced prostate cancer, over a decade after he won his first battle with the disease

Mr Goodman was known for his trademark 'Seven!' on BBC hit Strictly Come Dancing

Mr Goodman was known for his trademark 'Seven!' on BBC hit Strictly Come Dancing

Mr Goodman was known for his trademark ‘Seven!’ on BBC hit Strictly Come Dancing

The accomplished presenter and former welder with shipbuilder Harland and Woolf, hosting shows about diverse topics including the Titanic

The accomplished presenter and former welder with shipbuilder Harland and Woolf, hosting shows about diverse topics including the Titanic

The accomplished presenter and former welder with shipbuilder Harland and Woolf, hosting shows about diverse topics including the Titanic

His death certificate, seen by the Express, logged his death as due to ‘metastatic prostate cancer.’ This advanced form of the disease occurs as the cancer spreads to the bones and other parts of the body.

The professional dancer withdrew from the U.K. version of Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 to be replaced by Shirley Ballas. He stayed on the U.S. version, known as Dancing with the Stars, until November. The show renamed their Mirrorball trophy after Mr Goodman.

Mr Goodman had retired only six months before his death. He had been pictured enjoying himself at what proved to be his final public appearance at the Celebrity Gold Classic in Hertfordshire in July.

He explained his retirement from Dancing with the Stars during his last TV appearance in November, saying: ‘It has been a huge pleasure to be part of such a wonderful show, but I’ve decided I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.’

Mr Goodman was a celebrated ballroom dancer during his twenties. He retired from the professional circuit after winning the British Exhibition Championships in Blackpool four times.

He was a recipient of the Carl Alan Award, recognising his outstanding contributions to dance. He also owned the Goodman Academy, a dance school, in Dartford, Kent.

Mr Goodman suffered from arthritis for many years and underwent knee surgery in 2015. He refused to take time off from Strictly Come Dancing following the procedure and appeared in his usual good spirits on crutches.

Queen consort Camilla, a known Strictly Come Dancing fan, had danced with Goodman at the British Dance Council's 90th anniversary gala

Queen consort Camilla, a known Strictly Come Dancing fan, had danced with Goodman at the British Dance Council's 90th anniversary gala

Queen consort Camilla, a known Strictly Come Dancing fan, had danced with Goodman at the British Dance Council’s 90th anniversary gala

Dance and Len Goodman meeting King Charles during a reception for Age UK at Buckingham Palace in London in 2018

Dance and Len Goodman meeting King Charles during a reception for Age UK at Buckingham Palace in London in 2018

Dance and Len Goodman meeting King Charles during a reception for Age UK at Buckingham Palace in London in 2018

Goodman retired from the U.S. edition of Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, in November

Goodman retired from the U.S. edition of Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, in November

Goodman retired from the U.S. edition of Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, in November

He had grown up in east London where his father operated a fruit and vegetable stall before training as an apprentice welder for shipbuilder Harland and Wolff in Woolwich. 

His introduction to dance came late, at 19, after a doctor recommended it as therapy for a foot injury.

Following his death, tributes poured in from across the entertainment world for the entertainer. 

Queen consort, Camilla, who is known to enjoy Strictly Come Dancing, was said by a spokesperson to be ‘saddened’ by his death. She had danced with Goodman at the British Dance Council’s 90th anniversary gala.

Tim Davie, the BBC director general, said: ‘Len Goodman was a wonderful, warm entertainer who was adored by millions. He appealed to all ages and felt like a member of everyone’s family. Len was at the very heart of Strictly’s success. He will be hugely missed by the public and his many friends and family.’

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