Christmas TV: Strictly’s Len Goodman relives his youth in Len’s Dance Band Days

by Anna Howell
len goodmans dance band days 2

len goodmans dance band days

Len Goodman is known as the King of the ballroom, and his position as Head Judge on the hugely popular BBC dancing reality show, Strictly Come Dancing makes him an absolute expert on anything to do with even the slight tapping of the feet – including the songs of old that first git us up on them!

So why not put your feet up tonight and be transported to the good old days where dancing peaked in popularity with Dance Band’s providing the music that made it almost impossible to keep still while listening to, making this era the one when our great nation fell in love with dancing.

Len Goodman hosts this hour long festive special as he delves into the archives of the great Dance Band leader’s such as Bert Ambrose and Jack Hylton who helped light up this golden age of modern music, with some of the greatest dances and singers emerging from some of the top London Elite hotels, before the BBC brought it straight in to the homes of everyone else.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing though, as Len discovers, as the network didn’t always approve of what it was broadcasting, with concerns raised with regards to outside culture and influence as well as monopolisation and commercialisation in a dispute which threatened to damage the precious relationship in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

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The BBC also had issues with the new style of singing, or Crooning, which came about as a result of better microphones, which the BBC did not appreciate or go out of their way to promote, but nothing could put off the young, talented and determined generation of pop stars.

In particular Len delves into the story of Al Bowlly, a hugely popular and talented singer who soared his way up in the estimations of his adoring fans and peers before sadly being killed during London’s blitz, where he was buried in a mass grave.

Watch Len Goodman’s Dance Band Days tomorrow night (December 24th) at 9pm on BBC4 / BBC 4 HD.