Belfast Telegraph

Reverend Richard Coles announced for Strictly Come Dancing

Reverend Richard Coles will be hoping for success as he competes on the 15th series of Strictly Come Dancing later this year (17).

Reverend Richard Coles will soon be swapping the pulpit for the dancefloor after signing up for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The 55-year-old will be trying his luck as he vies for the Glitterball trophy alongside previously announced contestants Mollie King from The Saturdays, actress Gemma Atkinson, This Morning presenter Ruth Langsford and EastEnders star Davood Ghadami.

Upon the announcement of his new gig, Richard joked: "Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight Vicar with arthritis in his knees."

While he is now known for his role as a Church of England priest, Richard first found fame as part of pop band The Communards in the 1980s. The group had three U.K. top 10 hits, with their track Don't Leave Me This Way becoming the biggest-selling single of 1986.

Now, alongside his religious commitments as Vicar of St Mary’s Church in Finedon, Northamptonshire and Chancellor of the University of Northampton, Richard co-hosts BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live, as well as being a respected writer. He has also contributed to TV shows including BBC One’s Have I Got News For You and QI. Richard also served as a consultant for BBC series Rev, having served as inspiration for Tom Hollander's character Adam Smallbone in the programme.

Richard's Strictly role was revealed on Radio 2’s Chris Evans Breakfast Show, on which he is a regular contributor to the "Pause for Thought" segment.

When Chris asked how Richard currently is on the dancefloor, he replied with a simple "remarkable".

"It was an easy decision to make," he joked to Chris. "It's obvious to anyone who knows me that a major dance talent was waiting to be discovered, I just wonder why it took them so long, frankly…"

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