Fact of the day: Judge Rinder grew up with S Club’s Rachel Stevens

The straight-talking criminal barrister isn’t taking to the Strictly dance floor without getting some tips from his primary school pal

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Here’s an interesting fact for you: Robert Rinder, of Judge Rinder fame, has been close pals with S Club’s Rachel Stevens since primary school.

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Yes, it turns out the pair – both 38 –  are quite chummy and he’s turned to the singer for a few tips ahead of his debut in the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom. Stevens, after all, came second in the sixth series partnered with then pro Vincent Simone.

“Rachel Stevens, who I grew up with, said try to remember the steps and be talented.

“That’s alright if you’re Rachel Stevens,” he joked. “She is amazing; she has always been super talented even when she was little. We used to play as kids; we’ve known each other since primary school.”

We’re not sure it’s quite ‘squad goals’. Unexpected, at the very least.

Rinder is calling in several friend favours in his bid to impress the judges, revealing he’s also sought tips from newsreader Susanna Reid, who reached the finals in 2013.

“Susanna Reid typically told me just to be nice. I looked at her slightly perplexed thinking how on earth am I supposed to do that?”

Talking of which, one thing he doesn’t need advice on is his facial expressions. While discussing which judge he hoped to impress he said:

“Well, I would say Craig Revel Horwood, the only difference is unlike him I’m actually able to raise a judicial eyebrow… but actually I like to impress them all as I think they’re all amazing.”

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Strictly Come Dancing launches Saturday 3rd September at 6:50pm on BBC1