Judge Judy: The Facts behind the Figurehead

Everyone's heard of Judge Judy – unless you have a debilitating fear of legal professionals or are dedicated to the avoidance of television and all associated tropes, the Double J has been impressed upon your consciousness since you were old enough to feel the thrill of the words “all rise”.

But how much do you actually know about The Lady In Black? Probably not much – and that's simply not good enough. The time has come to disrobe Her Honour (metaphorically) and find out the facts behind the figurehead. Ignorance of the law-maker is no excuse.

Real name: Judy Sheindlin (born Judith Blum, which is delightfully, though irrelevantly, similar to other feminist hero, Judy Blume).

Age: 74

How long has she been a judge? She became a prosecutor in 1965 and a judge since 1982. So, quite possibly, longer than you've been alive.

How much does she earn? Take a deep breath. Judy reportedly earns $47 millions per year for her role as JJ. That's $900 000 per work day, since Judy only has to work 52 days of the year.  We suspect she spends the remaining days looking at herself in the mirror, congratulating herself on a series of spectacular life decisions.

How long has Judge Judy been on air for? The first episode aired on September 16, 1996. As of the end of 2014, it was on its 19th series.

Any in-court disasters? In 2011, Judy collapsed in the courtroom, and later discovered that she had had a small stroke. Did she retire? Like hell she did.

Has she ever done any law-breaking of her own? In 2013, a lawsuit was filed against Big J, accusing her of, essentially, stealing cutlery. Yes, knives and spoons. The details are a little more complicated, but the matter was sorted out of court, proving once and for all that Judy doesn't give a fork.

Any important facts I should know about Judith? You bet your law-abiding arse there are.

-       She was the only woman in her law class of 162 students.

-       Her first book (and she's written several) was entitled “Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining”.

-       Her second book was called “Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever”. This entire article could be devoted to her skill in titling books.

-       Judy has five children and twelve grandchildren.

Serious question: If I was going to get a Judge Judy quote tattooed on my bottom, which should I get?

You have so many to choose from – but probably one of these:

-       “On your BEST day, you're not as smart as I am on my worst day”.

-       Of course I'm right. I'm always right.”

-       “I'm like a truth machine”.

-       “BALONEY SIR”.

Of course, you'll probably only know the real Judy once you've appeared before her in court – so it might be time to move to America and do something small but very annoying to your neighbour, like dying his cat pink, or stealing his pine cones. Good luck!