Judge Rinder (Photo: Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images)
Judge Rider has recalled how a chance meeting with Harry Styles turned into “the worst social car crash ever”.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the ITV daytime star – real name Robert Rinder – was asked for his worst encounter with a celebrity, to which he revealed he got terribly starstruck after noticing the former One Direction singer in the gym.
He recalled: “Nobody looks at anyone at my gym, so I just thought there was a homeless girl running next to me. And then I had a moment of epiphany: it was Harry Styles.
“He’s evolved into a real artist, so when I subsequently saw him I got strangely starstruck. We ended up involved in a conversation and all I will say was that it was the worst social car crash ever.
“He hugged me because he needed to make it stop. It was like an act of social euthanasia.”
Harry Styles (Photo: Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Robert continued: “My friends usually make sure that I don’t meet people I admire because it’s not going to go well. I will, for the first 10 minutes, tell them, like a crazed fan, everything brilliant about them, and how I’ve read every interview and watched everything they ever did on YouTube, as they sit there and slightly glaze over and try to get an injunction.”
The TV judge previously revealed how his meeting with Harry had led to him developing a relationship with the singer’s mother.
He told Heat magazine in 2019: “I ended up messaging his mum and inviting her to the show and she is a complete and utter delight,” he said. “We got on well and we went out for dinner in London with some friends.
“I’m not declaring I’m going on The Great British Bake Off or anything but I’ve always wanted to bake, and she has promised me that her and her friend are going to teach me. I’m going to learn to make cakes with Harry Styles’ mum.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.