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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > Issue 278 > STRICTLY SILKS TO SEQUINS

STRICTLY SILKS TO SEQUINS

KNOWN AS THE ‘SIMON COWELL OF THE BENCH’, TV’S JUDGE RINDER TALKS TO ATTITUDE ABOUT BRINGING JUSTICE TO THE MASSES, HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH AND RULING THE STRICTLY DANCE FLOOR

THANKS TO THE SUCCESS OF HIS courtroom TV show and his nifty dance moves on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, Robert Rinder is Britain’s best-known criminal barrister. Not that Robert, who goes by the professional name of Judge Rinder, is fussed about fame. “It’s the least interesting thing in the world,” he declares when we meet during a break from Strictly rehearsals. He leans forward and adds: “But it is also an enormous, jazz-handed privilege, and if anybody says it’s not they can come and see me.”

If this were an episode of his ITV show, which draws a very healthy daytime viewership of a million-plus, Rinder would now bring the gavel down. Case closed. But in person our answer to Judge Judy is not as strict as his TV persona, plus, with the show not returning until next year, he’s not in Judge Rinder mode.

There’s no time for settling court cases when you’re on Strictly (if, indeed, Rinder is still on the show by the time you read this). He’s done rather well with his cha-cha-cha, paso doble (to Gaga’s Born This Way, no less) and American Smooth, but if he doesn’t make it to the final he’ll be “absolutely fine” about it, Rinder admits.

“It’s a competition so it would be completely wrong to say I don’t feel competitive, but looking at the other contestants — like Danny Mac, who is beautiful and brilliant — I never think ‘You’re amazing, I’m in trouble’. It’s more that I’m competing with myself.”

With a smile, Robert, 38, says he’s fully aware that sometimes he sounds “like a walking cliché”, especially when it comes to his Strictly journey. “But I love learning something new, starting the week thinking it’s genuinely impossible, then four days later you can do it. I watched the jive I did and thought ‘I actually can’t believe that’s me’.”

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About Attitude

On the cover, the new queen of pop Christine and the Queens talks sexuality, subversion, Michael Jackson… and Trump! Elsewhere in this issue: from courtroom battles to the Strictly ballroom with Judge Rinder; Sweden’s siren Tove Lo on sex, drugs and pop music; Do throuples work? Millennial sexuality in the spotlight; and The Pass star Arinze Kene on the taboo of gay footballers.
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