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Richard Coles's Biography

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Who is Richard Coles?

The Reverend Richard Coles was born in 1962 in Northampton.

His grandfather Keith owned Coles Boot and Shoe Ltd and drove a Rolls-Royce.

However the company eventually failed to prosper and Coles's father sold it off, and got a sales job.

In his late teenage years, Richard Coles took an overdose, partly the result of being gay in a hostile time, and was sent to a psychiatric hospital.

In 1980 Coles moved to London and became a session musician in the theatre.

In 1983 he joined Bronski Beat as a sax player, but it was the following year when he formed the duo, The Communards, with lead singer Jimmy Somerville, that he would become established in the public eye.

The Communards' hits included "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Don't Leave Me this Way", which was the biggest selling single of 1986.

As related in his memoir, Fathomless Riches, the duo were starting to fall out and Richard Coles started taking drugs in large quantities.

The Communards broke up in 1988.

In 1990, The Reverend Richard Coles found God after going to Mass at St Alban's in Holborn.

He read theology at King’s College London and gained an MA for his work on St Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians.

After a spell as a Catholic, in 2005, he was ordained an Anglican and went on to be the vicar of St Mary the Virgin in Finedon, Northamptonshire.

Rev Richard Coles is the co-presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live.

A regular panellist on QI, in 2016 he became of the contestants on Celebrity Masterchef.

In September 2017, the BBC announced that Reverend Richard Coles and Mariella Frostrup would present The Big Painting Challenge on BBC One.
In February 2019, Reverend Richard Coles described how being an inpatient at St Andrew's Healthcare in Northampton, when he had an episode of clinical depression, saved his life.

In December 2019, his civil partner the Reverend David Coles died after a long illness.

Richard Coles on Strictly Come Dancing

In 2017, Rev Richard Coles became one of the celebrities on Strictly Come Dancing.

He was paired with Dianne Buswell.

Richard and Dianne were the second couple to be voted off.

He has three dachshunds, Audrey, Daisy and Willy Pongo.

He sometimes plays with a local band, the Cupping Melons.

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