EXCLUSIVE Rob Rinder and Rylan Clark, ‘We shared the same divorce lawyer… now we want to marry’

The unlikely duo talk sharing divorce lawyers and date nights in Italy ahead of their new TV show

rylan clark and rob rinder

by closer |
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They’ve known each other for years and now This Morning’s Rylan Clark and Rob Rinder – better known as Judge Rinder – are starring in their first joint show together, Rob & Rylan’s Grand Tour.

Following in the footsteps of the English poet Lord Byron, the pair – who coincidentally shared the same divorce lawyer – have travelled around Venice, Florence and Rome. Here, Rylan, 35, and Rob, 45, tell Closer all about it…

How did this series come about?

rylan clark and rob rinder
rob and rylan together ©BBC

Rylan: Rob and I have known each other for years, but we’ve never really been “out out” properly – we’ve been mates, but we haven’t been friends. And then the show was offered to us, and it seemed like a natural fit. Rob and I have been through a lot of things the same way. I mean, we have the same f**king lawyer! She earned a fortune out of us during our divorces! It’s interesting, because if you talk about going anywhere with Rob or anywhere with me, they’re two very different holidays. So this whole concept of Rob showing me his Venice and me showing him my Venice came naturally. At first it was all very art-heavy and I was like, “When are we going out?”

Rob: Each episode starts as something deeply profound and ends up as topless darts!

Has it changed your friendship?

Rylan: We’d marry each other tomorrow!

Rob: Platonically, obviously.

Rylan: You don’t get a genuine connection with many people in your life. I could call Rob at 3am and we could talk for hours. We can have each other in hysterics, just talking bullsh**t or helping each other through difficult times. I knew that I’d get on with Rob, because everyone who has worked with Rob has always said he’s lovely. We’re so different – it’s like two pieces of the jigsaw, and then we finally meet and that jigsaw is complete. I feel like we could literally take on the world.

Rob: Rylan is just so piercingly intelligent. And that quality is one of the things I really cherish in people and that’s why we were able to do an arts show together. Because as much as the show is about us, it’s also about celebrating – maybe acknowledging more than celebrating because he’s a complex figure – the life of Byron. To have somebody as accessible, articulate and as authentically present as Rylan was an absolute treat. It helps make the art more accessible.

How did you meet originally?

judge rinder
rob on the show that made his name ©Shutterstock

Rylan: Grindr.

Rob: Do me a favour!

Rylan: One of the first times I messaged Rob was when I was filming a show up in Manchester and I broke onto the Judge Rinder set and sent him a picture of me in his chair. And then we bumped into each other loads over the years – a classic showbiz friendship!

Rob: Becoming good friends has been on the cards for some time.

Is there anything that you bicker about?

Rylan: Rob earned the nickname “Nonna” [the Italian word for grandma], because he was so slow! He’d stop and talk to absolutely everyone, even when we were in a rush. Plus, he walks about with a pharmacy in his bag!

rylan clark on this morning
rylan on this morning ©Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

In the first episode – in Venice – you both go on a date. Did either of you hope to find romance on your travels?

Rylan: I mean, it was my sole purpose! No, I don’t think we ever thought that. I did get a romance from it, I got Rob. Filming this show with him made me realise that I don’t need to be with anyone. I don’t need someone there telling me what to do. I’ve got Nonna!

Rob: Without Rylan, I wouldn’t have had the confidence ever to go on a date. And I definitely I wouldn’t have been able to parade around the streets of Venice in drag!

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What’s the one thing you’d like the viewers to take away from the show?

Rylan: I think viewers will watch it and want to go to all three places: Venice, Florence and Rome. And I think they’ll be really surprised at how candid it is. It’s not a produced, glossy entertainment show, it’s actually quite raw. I think they’ll look at me and go, “Oh, he’s not as f**king stupid as I thought”, and they’ll look at Rob and go, “Oh, it’s nice to see him let his hair down”.

Rob: What’s left of it!

Rob & Rylan’s Grand Tour comes to BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on Sunday 12 May

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