Judge Rob Rinder has defended himself after trolls questioned his plans to travel to the Ukrainian border to help his Strictly partner’s grandparents.
The star is going to try and meet dancer Oksana Platero’s grandparents — who he said were “a week into their struggle to find sanctuary in a safe country” amid the crisis — and that he would be broadcasting live on talkRadio while there.
However, Rinder — who is a criminal barrister as well as a television personality — has now had to set trolls straight after some criticised his decision.
Music act Right Said Fred were among those to comment, tweeting: “I don’t remember him going to Yemen, Syria, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Congo, Libya, Somalia, Sth Sudan or Iraq. Apologies if I’m wrong.”
But Rinder, 43, replied: “Wrong said Fred. I was in Sierra Leone in 2003. What ya think about that?"
Wrong said Fred. I was in Sierra Leone in 2003.
What ya think about that? https://t.co/R5EpI1wxVs
— Robert Rinder (@RobbieRinder) March 10, 2022
When another person suggested it was “above his pay grade”, Rinder responded: “Hey George, before watching me on tele, I was a lawyer specialising in international law, I’ve dealt with kids in war crimes matters & represented British soldiers serving in Iraq.
"Listen to @talkRADIO.. & remember - like you - we are ALL more than one thing.”
Another person posted a message on Twitter asking: “How many ‘celebrities’ are going to do this,” adding: “Like the ones who recorded songs for Covid. It's just media b******* again.”
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) March 10, 2022
But the star replied: “Hi there, I hear your scepticism. Have collected evidence in international criminal matters and dealt with traumatised children in war crimes cases.
"I hope I’m not 'one of those celebrities'.
"Be safe and full of joy x.”
Rinder went into law after university and in 2014 he came to fame as the star of reality courtroom show Judge Rinder.
He was paired with Platero on the fourteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2016, with the pair finishing in fifth place.
Announcing his trip to the Ukrainian border, he tweeted: "Oksana Platero my Ukrainian dance partner on @bbcstrictly gifted me so much.
Oksana Platero my Ukrainian dance partner on @bbcstrictly gifted me so much. Right now her grandparents are a week into their struggle to find sanctuary in a safe country.
I’ll be trying to meet them on the border next week.
They’re just a few of the millions who need us.@GMB pic.twitter.com/RqYtsB6rts
— Robert Rinder (@RobbieRinder) March 9, 2022
"Right now her grandparents are a week into their struggle to find sanctuary in a safe country.
"I’ll be trying to meet them on the border next week.
"They’re just a few of the millions who need us."
He added that he would be at the Polish border from Monday (14 March).
Watch: Judge Rinder has guest physically removed from his courtroom set