Judy Sheindlin begins 16th series of Judge Judy

Judge Judy / CBS Broadcasting / ITV2The cases are real, the people are real and the court is real. For fifteen series Judge Judy has been presiding over legal proceedings ranging from the stupid to the outrageous. But, she wonders, has she become softer as the show has progressed?

Judy Sheindlin has seen a number of copycat series launch in the time she’s been on air, but the judge continues to be the original one feared as the toughest judge on television. With her quick wit, catty put downs and common sense Judy has become America’s most watched daytime programme, and is a popular viewing past time in the UK.

As the cameras begin to roll on the 16th series of the show she told NBC’s breakfast programme Today that she’s changed as the years have passed.

“I think my temperance for different behaviour has expanded over the course of my judicial career… I used to say, ‘Well, this is right and this is wrong.’ As you get older, children get older, they, you know, sometimes make mistakes. You have grandchildren. They get older. The subtleties — you incorporate them, because you’re just a person. You incorporate that into who you are.”

There also seems no end in sight for the 68-year-old daytime favourite.

“It’s still fun! …Because everybody tells you how terrific you are. Nobody says to you, ‘You have to work harder.’ Nobody says to you, ‘You look lousy today.’ Everybody tells you that it’s the best performance you ever did. In my old job, at the family court, you were lucky if you got toilet paper that wasn’t scratchy. Really, nobody cared about how you felt. You did your job. You know, it was a dirty job. But this is a fantasy world.” She told NBC’s Today programme.

However there are still niggles which can send Sheindlin into a rant.

“What gets my juices going is people who don’t dress appropriately for court,” For example one lady who stood before her arrived in a bikini, “Where did you think you were going when you got on the plane?” a bemused Judge Judy asked.

However through all the weird, moronic and stupid cases Judy feels that the show has a positive impact and a good social awareness.

“I think people are subliminally learning a couple of lessons, maybe getting a message of responsibility — you  know, you make a mistake, learn from it.”

Judge Judy airs on CBS Reality with older episodes airing on ITV2 in the United Kingdom.