Best

Judge Rinder gives his verdict…

TV favourite Rob Rinder brings some order and justice to the flaky world of showbiz…

-

Razor-sharp Robert Rinder, 41, has proved an incredibly popular TV star, doling out sentences and sarcastic put-downs in equal measure in the reality TV courtroom series, Judge Rinder. Robert, who’s best pals with Sherlock star

Benedict Cumberbatc­h, has branched out from court in recent years (including a fabulously glitter-filled stint on

Strictly in 2016, when he finished fifth) and, later this year, he will even have his own four-part chat show on Channel 4. Here, Rob, who split from his husband of four years, Seth, in 2018, talks about TV, his hatred of whiny, ungrateful stars, and celebrity crushes…

On how his show keeps him grounded…

When I started out on Judge Rinder, I’ll be honest, I thought it was mindless – a bit shallow. I had a courtroom with my name on it, Good Lord! But my second case really taught me something. These are all real cases and, although people speak in my ear, they’re not allowed to interfere with any of the legal side of things, or the questions or judgment. In my second case, a woman was suing somebody for £90. I said, ‘That’s not a lot of money,’ and she said, ‘Do you want to rephrase that? You sound like a right posh-head.’ Despite having practised for years, I learned, and continue to learn, about the lives of people outside the privileged cities. The show became popular, and people like you on TV when you are popular! I also have a chat show later this year on Channel 4. I don’t really know what it’s about yet. From what I can gather, it’ll be a bit like The Clive James Show. An entertaini­ng take on current affairs!

On his first big setback…

I tried to get into Oxford University. Turns out they didn’t want me, and I wasn’t ready for that. They asked me what the difference was between ‘pornograph­y’ and ‘erotica’ for my entry, and I answered glibly, ‘Probably

about £3.95.’ I was going to take a year off and re-apply, but I was too devastated. It was my first important knock. The teacher I most admired had gone to Manchester University. Back in the day, you could go to uni riskand debt-free. I decided to go to Manchester and it turned out to be a lucky gig. I went there in the 90s [when Manchester band Oasis ruled the pop world!] – an extraordin­ary time.

On his popular Who Do You Think You Are? episode...

I did the show last year, focusing on some of my family members who were affected by the Holocaust. Following that, the BBC have commission­ed a three-part series about the Holocaust and I am now in the middle of that. It’s about the prisons in western Europe. One of the issues is how we tell the story, and its focus is on the experience­s of eastern Europeans – the largest numbers of victims were in this region. I am super-excited about the show. My episode of Who Do You Think You Are? in 2018 was the highestrat­ed show they’d ever had. Some people didn’t know who I was, unless they’d seen me on Strictly! But it was about history and it seemed to resonate. When you do this kind of thing on TV, you get almost no backlash on social media.

On Strictly…

It was the best thing ever, there was no downside. First of all, I am an egomaniac, which helps! When I did Strictly, the producers try to conscript you into this terror. I was nervous, but look, I’ve been in Sierra Leone dealing with war crimes. Nobody died. It’s just jazz hands! It was a joy – what’s not to like? Darcey Bussell was wonderful, Craig Revel Horwood is the nicest judge, and Bruno Tonioli would laugh at me.

On his memorable celebrity encounters…

When TV presenter Andi Peters said ‘ hi’ to me, it was the coolest thing ever. And the time I met Joan Collins, I just giggled. TV represente­d a totally different thing when I was growing up. People just don’t watch it in that way any more. The cast of Grange Hill are the people I get excited by. I saw Christophe­r Biggins the other day at the airport and I nearly had a coronary!

On his hatred of celebs who moan about fans…

It’s great to give selfies to people in the street. Any celebrity who complains about that should go and do what my dad does – work as a black cab taxi driver, or go and do another job. If a member of the public asks you for a selfie, I think you have an absolute obligation to do that. Some people in the industry have had their moral chemistry interfered with. It does enable terrible behaviour, including complainin­g about fans who want selfies and forgetting about all the perks you get for doing absolutely b****r all. I have no time for that at all.

 ??  ?? Rob Rinder is fabulous as the judge of daytime TV
Rob Rinder is fabulous as the judge of daytime TV
 ??  ?? with Oksana Platero… … was ‘ the best thing ever!’
with Oksana Platero… … was ‘ the best thing ever!’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom