But while this was taken by some as an example of diva behaviour, he’s now set the record straight, insisting he actually didn’t think it was “right” for licence payers to pay for his hotel when he didn’t live too far from the studios in Elstree.
In an interview on Talk Radio, Judge Rinder branded the suggestion he “refused” to stay with his fellow contestants in the ‘Strictly’ hotel “ridiculous”, joking: “I didn’t ‘refuse’ to stay in the hotel. I’m not Mariah Carey.”
He continued: “I live in north London so it was absurd. I’ve got a perfectly nice house and frankly I don’t think it’s right to make licence fee payers pay for my hotel.
“Actually I really worry about the way in which you as a celebrity are disproportionately treated. Frankly the industry is almost single handedly-designed to interfere with people’s moral chemistry.
“People rush to make you coffee and I had to say I know my ego and what it’s like - if you carry on like this I’m going to end up like Kim Jong-un.”
Despite eventually finishing in fifth place in last year’s ‘Strictly’, dropping out of the competition right before the semi-finals, Judge Rinder was a favourite among viewers, and since went on to appear on the ‘Strictly’ tour, filling in for Ed Balls on dates the former MP was unavailable.
He also makes occasional appearances on ‘Loose Women’, when the panel show does its semi-regular ‘Loose Women And Men’ special episodes.