Popstar turned priest to appear on Strictly Come Dancing

An article from premier.org. Maybe next year we can get Ben to put his dancing shoes on and grace the Strictly stage!

Rev Richard Coles, who is the only vicar in Britain to have had a number one hit single with pop band The Communards in the 1980s, is the fifth celebrity contestant announced to be competing this autumn on the BBC show.

Speaking on Chris Evans’s Radio 2 breakfast show, Rev Coles joked: “There’s more bling in my vestry than in their dressing room.

“I’ve been waiting by the phone for 11 years. We had this top secret meeting… I cunningly disguised myself as a cardinal… They said ‘do you fancy it?’ I said ‘not half’.”


Rev Coles is Parish Priest of St Mary’s Church, Finedon, Northamptonshire and is a regular on radio and TV, as co-host of BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live and can often be seen on celebrity panel shows such as Have I Got News For You.

He said: “Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight vicar with arthritis in his knees.”

His success with The Communards included ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’, the biggest-selling single of 1986.

Rev Coles is vicar of St Mary’s Church in Finedon, Northamptonshire, and Chancellor of the University of Northampton.


He joins Gemma Atkinson, Ruth Langsford, Davood Ghadami and Mollie King who have also been confirmed for the new series.

More celebrity contestants will be announced in due course.

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