Who is Rev Richard Coles? Meet the vicar, Radio 4 presenter, former pop star and Strictly contestant

The Saturday Live presenter is a regular on BBC Radio 4 and panel shows


Rev Richard Coles is the fifth confirmed celebrity for Strictly Come Dancing. Here’s everything you need to know:


Age: 55

Strictly Come Dancing code name: Zeus. “I think it’s because I’m so old,” said Richard. Or because you’re the King of the Gods, Richard

Twitter: @RevRichardColes

Best known for: A broadcaster, panelist, former musician and vicar  

He says: “It was an easy decision to make because I think it’s obvious to anyone who knows me that a major dance talent is waiting to be discovered… Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight Vicar with arthritis in his knees.”

Everything you need to know about Rev Richard Coles:

The Reverend Richard Coles is a writer, broadcaster and Church of England priest. If that’s not enough, he’s also the only vicar in Britain to have had a number one hit as one half of pop duo The Communards in the 1980s.

He also went on to have three UK top ten hits with the band including the biggest-selling single of 1986, Don’t Leave Me This Way.

Richard also admits that Bruno Tonioli choreographed one of the band’s videos, so he has form in dance already (although we’re not sure how much dancing he actually did).

Richard’s voice will be familiar to Radio 4 listeners as he co-hosts Saturday Live, and is a contributor to Pause for Thought on the Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show, where his Strictly destiny was announced.

His face is also recognisable from plenty of panel shows like Have I Got News For You and QI, and as the co-host of BBC1’s The Big Painting Challenge with Mariella Frostrup. In other reality TV news, he finished fifth on Celebrity MasterChef last year.

And he was apparently an inspiration for BBC1 comedy Rev and served as consultant to the series.

Oh, and in his day jobs Rev Coles is Vicar of St Mary’s Church in Finedon, Northamptonshire and Chancellor of the University of Northampton.

What dance experience does Rev Richard Coles have?

“I love dancing. But God does not always endow with gifts equally and I was near the back of the queue,” he says.


Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 in the autumn