Anton du Beke paid tribute to his late friend and former co-star Len Goodman, as he shared some advice Len had given him when he first joined Strictly Come Dancing.
Len passed away over the weekend at the age of 78, with his agent sharing the heartbreaking news in a statement on Monday morning, which read: "It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78.
“A much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”
In an appearance on The One Show, Anton, 56, fought back tears as he opened up about the loss of his friend.
Appearing via videolink, Anton shared some advice Len had given him when he joined the Strictly judging panel, as he said: "He said to me when I got the job…"
Pausing when he became choked up, Anton then continued: "When I got the job, he said, 'say what you see, and be yourself.'
"And that was exactly as Len was. He was himself. I was lucky enough to know him for a long time", as his voice began to crack again, Anton added that he was "lucky to call Len a friend."
Anton's kind words left show host Alex Jones becoming emotional, as she said that it was a "lovely tribute."
It comes after Anton shared a photo of himself and Len on Instagram, where he penned the caption: "Forgive my stream of consciousness but I’ve just heard the devasting news that my dear friend of nearly 45 years, Len Goodman, has sadly passed away.
He continued: "It’s incredibly difficult to find the words to encapsulate Len, because he was everything but he was also simply, Len.
"I first knew him when I was a young lad and was dancing, he was my dance judge. Len was different to anyone else in the dancing business – he was a wonderful character, he had a roguishness about him – he had twinkle.
"He had a way about him that you really wanted him to like you. If Len liked you, it was more important than anyone else liking you.
"He was one of the very few people that wherever he went, he was just being Len and everyone knows exactly what that means. He had a bit of a magic and that's what always made him so popular."
He continued: "Spending time with Len was wonderful. We played a lot of golf together – 40 years of playing golf. He was funny and entertaining but he was also considered and thoughtful and wonderfully interesting. He led a fascinating life. He was clever, articulate, wonderfully well-read and a great lover of poetry.
"And of course he had incredible appeal – as his massive success in America goes to show. They begged him to carry on and that kind of appeal is so rare. A national treasure certainly, but more importantly to me he was my friend. I was very lucky to know him.
"I’m going to miss you, Len."
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