Entertainment & Arts

Strictly Come Dancing: Judge Rinder joins line-up

Judge Rinder Image copyright Getty Images

Criminal barrister Robert Rinder, star of reality court show Judge Rinder, has joined Strictly Come Dancing.

Rinder told BBC Radio 1's Scott Mills: "The only thing I knew would make my grandmother more proud than watching my TV courtroom was to see me dressed up in white tie doing the foxtrot.

"So although I suspect the latter will be far more difficult, I am doing Strictly Come Dancing for her."

He added Mills's own appearance on the show encouraged him to participate.

Rinder said he was "mildly inspired" by the DJ's Under The Sea routine as a red lobster in series 12.

'Students rejoicing'

Judge Rinder has been broadcast every afternoon on ITV since August 2014.

When announcing his participation, Mills joked: "Students everywhere are rejoicing, as are people who work from home."

Rinder said his previous dance experience was limited - but added he had been taught some basic dancing by his school nurse, Mrs Cornish.

"I didn't really suit childhood terribly well so I'd go and sit in her room. She taught me how to Cha Cha, so I can do that one," he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Gymnast Claudia Fragapane competed for Team GB at the Rio Olympics

Rinder is the 12th contestant to be announced for this year's series, which begins on 3 September.

Singer Anastacia, BBC Breakfast's Naga Munchetty, former shadow chancellor Ed Balls, model Daisy Lowe, former Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac, Kiss FM DJ Melvin Odoom, singers Louise Redknapp and Will Young; and presenters Ore Oduba and Laura Whitmore are the other confirmed celebrity contestants on the show.

Discussing his fellow contestants, Rinder said he had initially thought pop star Anastacia was "the surviving princess of Russia", while the name Melvin Odoom "sounds like something from Lord of the Rings".

Gymnast Claudia Fragapane, who has just competed for Team GB at the Rio Olympics, was also added to the line-up over the weekend.

She is affectionately known as the "Pocket Rocket" - a reference to her height of 4ft 7in (143 cm).

Fragapane told the BBC she hopes there will be a Strictly dancer to match her dimensions.

"I don't have a favourite, but just someone of a similar height so it is easier to dance with them," she said.

The remaining three celebrity contestants to be taking part in this year's competition will be revealed on The One Show on Monday evening.

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