Rev Richard Coles to join Strictly Come Dancing lineup

Anglican priest and TV presenter Rev Richard Coles has been announced as a contestant in the next series of hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing.

The show sees celebrities paired with professional dancers and put through a series of gruelling dance challenges before a judging panel that see couples voted off every week.


Coles, who presents BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live and recently co-presented BBC One's The Big Painting Challenge is the only vicar in Britain to have had a number one hit single, having topped the charts with Don't Leave Me This Way with The Communards. The group went on to have three UK top 10 hits and the biggest-selling single of 1986.

Coles is also an inspiration for the main character in the BBC hit comedy Rev and served as consultant to the series. He is Vicar of St Mary's Church in Finedon, Northamptonshire and Chancellor of the University of Northampton.

He told BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans Breakfast Show: 'A major dance talent was waiting to be discovered. I just wonder what took them so long. I'm in it to win it, as they say.'

He said he had had a 'comprehensive briefing' from former Strictly star Ed Balls as part of his preparations for the show – and has also 'cut down on pork pies'.

The show will be televised on Saturday nights from the end of September.

Coles posted on Twitter: 'Me: "I'm doing #Strictly". Mum: (Pause) "Oh well... you'll be done by Michaelmas".'

Michaelmas is on September 29.