The ex-pop star, parish priest of St Mary the Virgin and co-host of Radio 4’s Saturday Live is supposedly the inspiration behind the sitcom Rev. After dinner he confesses to lurid excess as a Communard, reveals how he got through the interview to train as a vicar and tells the tale of a Fenland undertaker.
The Reverend Richard Coles is a broadcaster, writer and Church of England priest - but he’s best known for having been one half of the 1980s band, The Communards. They enjoyed three UK Top 10 hits, including the biggest-selling single of 1986: Don't Leave Me This Way.
The multi-talented Coles turned his hand to acting, narrating Style Council’s movie JerUSAlem. He also penned music for film and TV, served up advice as ‘agony uncle’ on BBC London and won a Sony Gold as presenter of The Mix on Radio 5 Live.
With a successful media career already established, Coles trained for a priesthood in the Church of England - becoming what could only be described as a ‘very modern’ vicar. He was Curate at St Boltoph’s in Lincolnshire before moving to St Paul's Knightsbridge and becoming Chaplain to the Royal Academy of Music.
Richard Coles continues to work in broadcasting, as an opera reviewer and frequent contributor to Newsnight Review. He has featured as a panellist on Have I Got News For You and presents Radio 4’s Saturday Live. He also makes time for the odd Songs of Praise special.
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Richard's speech is one of the warmest I’ve heard in 10 years at JLA. After a glance back to his days as a pop star, he describes the shock of wearing cassocks and sharing a dormitory at the age of 40. If you’re a fan of Rev. (for which he is the inspiration), Richard will leave you in fits of giggles. JLA Agent Jeremy Frewer