Who is Rev Richard Coles? Big Painting Challenge presenter and Strictly Come Dancing star who used to sing in the Communards

His face (and voice) should be familiar to those who remember 80s music, but what's Richard's story? Here's his story…

Who is Rev Richard Coles, how old is he and what is his background?

Rev Richard Coles, 56, is a Church of England priest and English musician.

The presenter was born in Northampton in 1962 and went to Wellingborough School.

He studied Theology at Kings College London and went on to gain an MA from the University of Leeds.

Richard lives with his civil partner Rev David Coles and "4 dependent yet delightful dachshunds".

Rev Richard Coles is most famous for being part of The Communards alongside Jimmy Somerville, who had been friends before joining the band.

They formed the band in 1984 after Jimmy left Bronski Beat and the pair played together for three years.

You may know the Communards hits Don't Leave Me This Way and Never Can Say Goodbye.

They bagged three UK Top 10 hits but split in 1988 and Jimmy went solo.

After their band split up the two drifted apart, but Richard told The Guardian in an interview that they had become close again.

After leaving Strictly in Movie Week and becoming the second celebrity to be voted off Richard had been tipped to sign up for the Strictly Live Shows.

However, he did not take part in the tour as it would disrupt his church duties.

Richard is a talented musician who plays the saxophone, clarinet and keyboards.

Why did Rev Richard Coles join the church?

After leaving his music behind, he began writing for the Times Literary Supplement and Catholic Herald.

And it was after attending a mass at St Alban's in 1990 that he was "suddenly inspired with a new found faith".

In his biography on his website, it is revealed: "Between 1990-1994 he studied for a theology degree at King's College, London, before returning to Northamptonshire where he began to seriously consider taking holy orders."

After a 10-year period as a Roman Catholic, Richard returned to Anglicanism in 2001 and then in 2005 was ordained into the Anglican priesthood.


What TV shows has Rev Richard Coles been on?

In 2016 he appeared on Celebrity Masterchef and finished in fifth place.

In early 2017, the telly host fronted The Big Painting Challenge on BBC One with Mariella Frostrup which has returned for a second series.

His other noteworthy appearances include QI, Lorraine and The Review Show.

He has also joined Paul Merton and Ian Hislop on Have I Got News For You.

And he starred on Strictly 2017 alongside the likes of Mollie King, Ruth Langsford and Brian Conley. 

He is the presenter of Radio 4's Saturday Live.

Ha also appears on the latest series of Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, along with Joe McFadden.


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