Who is Judge Robert Rinder? Strictly Come Dancing 2016 contestant guide

Everything you need to know about the TV judge and old friend of Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel Stevens

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Strictly Come Dancing 2016 contestants: Judge Robert Rinder

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Age: 38

Twitter: @judgerindertv

Famous for: Being a TV judge who presides over a reality small claims court on ITV. 

Who is his professional partner?

Judge Rinder was paired with new pro Oksana Platero, whose awards include Ukraine National Youth champion, National US champion and USDC World Professional Rising Star Champion.


The 38-year-old trained barrister began starring in Judge Rinder in 2014, where he helps settle disputes of varying natures. These include consumer disputes, business and neighbourhood disputes and accusations of various levels of negligence.

Outside of the courtroom Judge Rinder shot into the headlines in 2013 when pictures emerged of Benedict Cumberbatch overseeing his wedding to Justin Cummings in Ibiza. It later transpired that Rinder, who has been close friends with Cumberbatch since they both attended Manchester University, was chosen as best man at Cumberbatch’s wedding to Sophie Hunter.   

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Britain’s answer to Judge Judy joined the National Theatre at the age of 14 alongside David Walliams and Matt Lucas, but when he went to an audition with Cumberbatch, he decided to pack it in.

And it turns out Cumberbatch is not the only famous friend of Rinder, who recently revealed that he has also been friends with S Club 7’s Rachel Stevens since primary school.

BBC will be hoping some of his famous friends turn up for the live shows, we’re sure!

Judge Rinder Q&A

Why are you doing Strictly this year? I just love dancing. I think it’s pretty much the most fun you can have with your clothes on! And also I love learning a new skill. And it’s my Grandma’s favourite programme and I think it’s one of the three things that you can watch with the whole family, whatever your background, and just get into it. And I’m really, really looking forward to it! And you know, the literal, quite literal, cherry on the cake is meeting Oksana, who is quite the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Ever. Genuinely, ever. I feel like this dress, it ought to have its own parade!

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How does it slot in with your career as a barrister? To some extent there’s always that concern that people might take the view if you’re doing jazz hands you can’t also do genocide trials. But the reality is I think that the show is watched by such a broad group of people, and with the support I’ve had from people at work and across the legal community, it’s been so great because, you know, they love it too. Judges aren’t just serious, they have fun in their private lives as well… sometimes perhaps a little too much fun.

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: meet the contestants

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Anastacia

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Ed
Balls

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Tameka
Empson

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Claudia
Fragapane

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Lesley
Joseph

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Daisy
Lowe

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Danny
Mac

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Naga
Munchetty

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Melvin
Odoom

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Ore
Oduba

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Louise
Redknapp

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Judge Robert
Rinder

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Greg
Rutherford

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Laura
Whitmore

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Will
Young