Strictly: Benedict Cumberbatch To Sit Front Row ‘Cheering On’ Judge Rinder

No, the Sherlock star isn’t the 16th celebrity to join the impressive class of 2016. But, he is expected to give his full support to his old friend when he competes on the dance floor under the famous glitterball.

Copyright: Wenn

The pair have been close since they attended Manchester University together and the straight-talking criminal barrister, who fronts his self titled daytime TV show, was even best man at the actor’s wedding to Sophie Hunter.

AND, Rinder - whose first name is Robert - even had Benedict officiate his wedding in Ibiza in 2013.

So, with all that history behind them it’s no wonder Benedict will be the Judge’s “guest of honour” when the Ballroom and Latin BBC dance show kicks off on Saturday.

Judge Rinder told The Sun newspaper: “My friends will be in the front row cheering me on. I’m sure Benedict and Sophie will be. Would Benedict be good at dancing? He would be brilliant as he’s a natural at everything he does.”

Copyright: ITV

Rinder, 38, previously said he credits Benedict, 40, for putting him off a career in acting. The daytime TV star went to the National Theatre aged 14 alongside Benedict, David Walliams and Matt Lucas, but when he and his future pal auditioned for the same part, he realised he didn’t cut the mustard.

All’s well that ends well for the legal eagle, who likes to dish out scathing verdicts to warring families and parties on his show.

But as he foxtrots out of the courtroom and onto the dancefloor, he insists he doesn’t want his tough reputation weakened when he goes on Strictly.

Speaking about competing against the likes of popstar Will Young - who reportedly took ballet lessons for 11 years - he said: “They (the British public) want to see people go on a journey, but if they know how to dance already then all the better for them. I don’t want to be a total moron and be just known as the jazz-handed judge.”

That nickname, Jazz-handed Judge Rinder, surely has to stick.