Danny Mac with his dance partner Oti MabuseCredit:BBC Len Goodman with fellow Strictly judges Darcey Bussell, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli Credit:BBC Vince Cable, the former deputy leader of the Lib Dems who appeared on the 2010 Christmas edition of Strictly – where he won top marks for his foxtrot from Goodman – also backed calls for him to receive an honour.He said: “I think it would be a very deserving award. He has that strong connection with the public like Sir Bruce Forsyth did.”Mr Cable added: “He is the lynchpin of the whole panel. I know I’m a bit biased because he gave me 10/10, but he’s always struck me as a very deep-minded and professional with a deep knowledge of the whole show.” Goodman started dancing at the age of 19, after quitting his apprenticeship as a welder for Harland and Wolff shipyard, in Woolwich, south east London.After turning professional, he won numerous competitions, culminating in the British Championships at Blackpool.As well as head judge for Strictly, he has appeared in its American version Dancing With the Stars and has presented several other BBC programmes, including Dancing Cheek to Cheek, with the historian Lucy Worsley.Professor Veronica Lewis MBE, principal of the London Contemporary Dance School, said Goodman would be a deserving recipient of an honour.She said: “Len has raised the profile of dance in the UK immeasurably. His dedication has seen the art form become the prime time television choice of the nation and the talking point around the office watercooler.“Raising the profile of dance has opened up more opportunities for both young, and not so young, people and has contributed to their improved physical and mental wellbeing, which as a society we all benefit from and should be celebrated.” Sir Len Goodman has certain ring to it. I think it’s the right honour and he deserves it, not just for his work on Strictly, but also for all of his work that people don’t see.Kristina Rihanoff, professional dancer Professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff, who has appeared in eight series of Strictly, said: “Sir Len Goodman has certain ring to it. I think it’s the right honour and he deserves it, not just for his work on Strictly, but also for all of his work that people don’t see, behind the scenes for charities like the Dot Com Foundation. He has changed a lot of people’s lives.”Miss Rihanoff, who earlier this year had a baby with Strictly competitor and former England rugby star Ben Cohen, added: “He’s an inspirational person and I’m very sad he won’t be on Strictly any more. I can’t imagine anyone replacing him.”Ann Widdecombe, who suffered low marks at the hands of Goodman and the other judges when she appeared on Strictly in October 2010 with dance partner Anton du Beke, said Goodman would deserve a knighthood for his wider charity work.She said: “I’m always cautious in calling for knighthoods. I don’t think knighthoods should be given to entertainment alone. But, first of all, Strictly has brought in huge sums in exports. The other part of [Len’s] work is charity work so, if you add them up, I think there’s a case for it.”Meanwhile, the favourite to win tonight’s Strictly final has been forced to defend himself against accusations that his performing arts background has given him an unfair advantage.Actor Danny Mac, who stars in the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, admitted he had received dance training at drama school, but denied it had made any difference to his performance.Mac graduated from the Arts Educational performing arts school in Chiswick, west London, in 2009, before going on to appear in the musicals Les Miserables and Wicked on the West End stage. He has become something of a national institution – some would even say treasure – with his weekly appearances on Strictly Come Dancing.Now his fans are saying it’s time Len Goodman’s contribution to British light entertainment was officially recognised.As the BBC dance competition prepares for the final of its 14th series tonight, Goodman’s admirers have called for him to be recognised in the Queen’s Honours List.The 72-year-old éminence grise of ballroom dancing, who has served as head judge on the BBC show for more than a decade, will be stepping down after Saturday night’s finale.With his chirpy manner and catchphrases, including “it’s a 10 from Len”, “pickle my walnuts” and “se-ven!”, Goodman quickly established himself as one of the show’s favourite faces. The Strictly judges with the show’s contestants and professional dancersCredit:BBC The actor has consistently hit the top of the leaderboards alongside partner Oti Mabuse, with whom he scored the first 40 for a samba in the competition’s history.He said: “People say there is dance experience, but everyone has got varying degrees to what they must know.”I was never going to be a dancer, I was never dancing, that was never going to happen. I’ve never been employed as one. It was part of my training at drama school, but if people want to believe that because they don’t want to vote for me then so be it.”Asked if he thought it would stop him from winning votes, Mac said that would be a “shame”, adding Mabuse should receive full recognition for him reaching the final.He said: “Anything I have achieved, giving credit to that would be taking everything away from Oti and that wouldn’t be fair because it’s completely 100 per cent down to her.”The pair will dance three routines in a bid to win the glitterball trophy, including their samba which was awarded a perfect score in week 10.They will also perform a showdance set to Adele’s Set Fire To The Rain and a dance of the judges’ choice.Up against Mac in tonight’s final are ex-pop star Louise Redknapp and BBC presenter Ore Oduba.The BBC said Mac had no previous experience in latin or ballroom dance – the key components of Strictly – and that his training at drama school would have “little bearing” on the final. 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