Friday 9 December 2016

Judge Rinder looking for 'authentic meanness' in Strictly partner

Published 02/09/2016 | 13:06

Robert Rinder is looking for 'meanness' in his Strictly dance partner (BBC/PA Wire)
Robert Rinder is looking for 'meanness' in his Strictly dance partner (BBC/PA Wire)

TV judge Robert Rinder wants his Strictly Come Dancing partner to have "patience and authentic meanness".

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The 38-year-old criminal barrister and the 14 other celebrity contestants participating in the BBC One show will be paired with their professional partners in Saturday night's launch show.

Rinder added: "I want her to be splendid and super honest and super mean. Also I want her to be profoundly competitive with the other contestants, so I don't have to be."

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty revealed she is looking for a partner who will "kick her butt".

She said she was after someone who is " just going to kick my butt basically, I will try my very, very best and I will work hard but I need someone who is going to go, 'just get on with it - there's no can't, just do it'."

According to bookmakers William Hill, pop star Will Young and gymnast Claudia Fragapane are this year's frontrunners so far.

They revealed that the pair are the joint favourites to win, with odds of 7/2, ahead of the series launch this weekend.

However, former shadow chancellor Ed Balls and Birds Of A Feather star Lesley Joseph are the outsiders.

William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly said: "Ed Balls and Lesley Joseph are almost friendless with just 10 people backing either one of them, and the biggest bets have been £10 on Balls and £2 on Joseph."

The former Labour minister admitted he would need a professional partner who was "patient, creative and a bit of a DIY paint and decorator", because "I think there's going to be quite a few cracks to paint over".

Joseph's partner prerequisites include someone who is patient and will have a lot of fun.

She said: " I would rather do something slightly simpler and do it really well than do something so complicated it looks like I'm not brilliant at all. I want somebody who will help me look good."

Irish TV presenter and model Laura Whitmore said it is important that she has a connection with her partner.

"Everyone who does this says how much fun it is, so it would be great to work with someone I get a connection with," she said.

"I've talked to friends who've done the show like Alesha Dixon and Caroline Flack, and she says you both get that connection with someone else and it's not even like a romantic connection, it's just like a best friend.

"Basically you trust them with everything. If you make a mistake, it's them who gets you through it and you kind of just hope you get someone you have that connection with, who is kind of like a best friend, in a way."

:: Strictly Come Dancing begins on BBC One on Saturday at 6.50pm.

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