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Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman's Toy Appeal handover

PUBLISHED: 16:04 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:16 23 August 2010

OUTSPOKEN head judge of Strictly Come Dancing Len Goodman is to hand out gifts to sick children as part of this year s Reporter Toy Appeal. The dance guru who splits his time between the UK and America, where he appears on Dancing with the Stars, offered

OUTSPOKEN head judge of Strictly Come Dancing Len Goodman is to hand out gifts to sick children as part of this year's Reporter Toy Appeal.

The dance guru who splits his time between the UK and America, where he appears on Dancing with the Stars, offered to take part in the handover, expected to be held a few days before Christmas Eve at Darent Valley Hospital.

He is one of the nation's busiest and favourite TV personalities but was delighted to be able to spread some joy to children spending the festive season in hospital.

Backing the appeal, the star, of Ingress Park, Greenhithe, said: "I am only too glad to support the Toy Appeal this year. It is a marvellous thing to do and will make these children's time in hospital so much easier.

"It is terribly sad that so many kids are in hospital at this time of year because Christmas is their time. It is a magical experience for them and the community needs to pull together to make sure it stays that way."

So far, hundreds of toys have been donated to the appeal by generous readers, business owners, mayors and community groups.

In its third year the Toy Appeal is run across the Kentish Times series area to benefit children in north Kent and south east London.

Gifts donated in Gravesend and Dartford benefit children at Darent Valley Hospital. Bromley, Bexley and Swanley readers will donate to Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, Woolwich and Queen Mary's in Sidcup.

Mr Goodman who opened up Goodman's dance schools in Gravesend and Dartford before he found fame is expected to visit the hospital on Friday December 18.

Appealing for donations, he added: "We tend to forget that it started with St Nicholas - Christmas is all about giving.

"These are the most deserving and appreciative people to give to and just taking a bit of time and a bit of money to get them a gift would make them so much happier.

"I know the Appeal is in its third year now and it would be great if people could dig even deeper this year to make a lot of children's Christmases a whole lot better."

michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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