Belfast Telegraph

Rev Richard Coles: I use hand sanitiser as I shake so many hands at Christmas

The former Communards star said he was ‘wiped out’ on Christmas Day.

Rev Richard Coles (Matt Crossick/PA)
Rev Richard Coles (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Rev Richard Coles says he kept bottles of hand sanitiser for all the handshaking at Christmas in his last parish.

But the former Communards star, 57, said he was “wiped out” on Christmas Day.

He told Radio Times magazine: “In my last parish, in central London, we hosted more than 30 carol services in November and December, for everyone from Great Ormond Street Hospital to Goats for Sudan.

“After Hark the Herald, we would take up our positions in the porch to wish departing worshippers a happy Christmas.”

He said that “10,000 handshakes followed, or to put it another way, 10,000 opportunities for viruses to pass from them to me”.

“We kept little bottles of hand sanitiser for prophylactic wiping, but, invariably, we were voiceless by Midnight Mass, and wiped out before the Queen’s Speech,” he added.

The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant joked: “In spite of this, I still love Christmas, mostly.”

The full interview is in the  Radio Times Christmas issue.

PA

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