Val and Maksim Chmerkovskiy affectionately remember 'dance grandad' Len Goodman
Val and Maksim Chmerkovskiy have paid tribute to their "dance grandad", Len Goodman.
The 'Dancing With the Stars' head judge died of cancer last month aged 78 and the professional dancers admitted the veteran ballroom expert always "felt like family" to them.
Val told 'Entertainment Tonight': "Len Goodman had that type of authority in the dance world and he earned that authority, not just on camera but behind the scenes for 50 years of being in competitive ballroom dancing, so we know Len from those days. And then to have been introduced to Len on camera in front of millions of people, he felt like family.
"He felt like a grandad to us, our dance grandad and yeah, we'll miss him. I think the show will be very different without him."
His brother added: "Just looking back at whatever I look at that was significant for me, he was there in some way or form."
Maksim, who last competed on 'DWTS' in 2017, thinks Len was the "anchor" of the judging panel, which originally featured him, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba, and he attributed the British star's lively "character" as being key to the success of the show.
He added: "I felt close to him as a person, but I felt close to the idea of Len Goodman... I think Len was the anchor that held all three of them down through some periods of time.
"But the character of Len Goodman is what made the show a big part of what made the show stick around, stay and he developed that character for other countries. They all try to find a Len Goodman and it's hard because they can't, really."