Coles in 2014
|Born|| 26 March 1962 |
|Education|| Wellingborough School |
South Warwickshire College of Further Education
King's College London
University of Leeds
College of the Resurrection, Mirfield
|Spouse(s)||David Coles (né Oldham) (d. 2019)|
|Church||Church of England|
| St Botolph's Church, Boston, Lincolnshire |
St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge
St Mary the Virgin, Finedon
|Chaplain of the Royal Academy of Music. Chancellor of the University of Northampton since 2017.|
Richard Keith Robert Coles (born 26 March 1962)is an English musician, journalist and Church of England parish priest. Now vicar of Finedon in Northamptonshire, he was formerly the multi-instrumentalist who partnered Jimmy Somerville in the 1980s band The Communards. They achieved three Top Ten hits, including the No. 1 record and best-selling single of 1986, a dance version of "Don't Leave Me This Way".
Coles appears frequently on radio and television as well as in newspapers and, in March 2011, became the regular host of BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live programme.He is a regular contributor to QI , Would I Lie to You? and Have I Got News for You . He is Chancellor of the University of Northampton, Honorary Chaplain to the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, and a Patron of Greatwell Homes.
Coles was born in Northampton, England. His grandfather was a prosperous shoe-manufacturer; the company failed under Coles's father because of the increasing popularity of cheaper foreign imports, and the family lost much of their wealth.
He was educated at the independent Wellingborough School (where he was a choirboy)and at the South Warwickshire College of Further Education (Department of Drama & the Liberal Arts) in Stratford-upon-Avon. He later attended King's College London where he studied theology from 1990. He was awarded an MA by research from the University of Leeds in 2005 for work on the Greek text of the Epistle to the Ephesians.
Coles is openly gay. The first person Coles came out to was his mother in 1978 when he was 16. He played her Tom Robinson's "Glad to Be Gay" four times before she said "Darling, are you trying to tell me something?"
Coles lived with his civil partner, the Reverend David Coles (né Oldham), in a celibate relationshipup until the latter’s death in December 2019. Following the death, Coles says he had received hate mail claiming that his partner is in hell. The Church of England has allowed priests to enter a civil partnership since 2005.
His older brother, Andy Coles, a former Metropolitan Police officer, was elected in 2015 as a Conservative councillor in Peterborough and appointed deputy Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016. After a mention in Richard's 2014 autobiography,he was accused of having deceived a 19-year-old political activist into a sexual relationship while he was a 32-year-old undercover police officer in the 1990s and resigned as deputy commissioner on 15 May 2017.
Coles is a member of the Labour Party.
Coles had learned to play the saxophone, clarinet and keyboards and moved to London in 1980 where he played in theatre. [ citation needed ]In 1983 he appeared with Jimmy Somerville in the Lesbian and Gay Youth Video Project film Framed Youth: The Revenge of the Teenage Perverts , which won the Grierson Award. Coles joined Bronski Beat (initially on saxophone) in 1983.
In 1984 Somerville left Bronski Beat and he and Coles formed The Communards,who were together for just over three years and had three UK Top 10 hits, including the biggest-selling single of 1986, a version of "Don't Leave Me This Way", which was at Number 1 for four weeks. They split in 1988 and Somerville went solo.
Coles provided narration for the Style Council's film JerUSAlem in 1987and also started a career as a writer and journalist, particularly with the Times Literary Supplement and the Catholic Herald . He came to the Christian faith in his late twenties, after "the best of times, the worst of times", pop success and the deaths of friends as a result of HIV. From 1991 to 1994 he studied for a BA in theology at King's College London. While at university, he became a Roman Catholic and remained so for the next ten years before returning to Anglicanism in 2001.
Coles was selected for training for the priesthood in the Church of England and began his training at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, West Yorkshire, in 2003before being ordained in 2005. After ordination he was a curate at St Botolph's Church in Boston, Lincolnshire and then at St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge in London. He has been chaplain of the Royal Academy of Music and has also played Dr Frank N Furter in a local concert and conducted an atheist funeral for Mo Mowlam in 2005.
Coles was an inspiration for the character of Adam Smallbone (played by Tom Hollander) in the BBC Two sitcom Rev. , and was an adviser to the show.
Coles mentions in his book Fathomless Riches that he is the inspiration for the character "Tom" in the Bridget Jones novels.[ citation needed ]
In January 2011, Coles was appointed as the vicar of St Mary the Virgin, Finedon in the Diocese of Peterborough.
On 1 November 2012 (All Saints' Day), Darton, Longman and Todd published Coles' book Lives of the Improbable Saints, illustrated by Ted Harrison, a précis of the life stories of nearly 200 lesser-known saints. The following year, volume two, Legends of the Improbable Saints, followed.
From 2011, Coles has been on the board of Wellingborough Homes, a social enterprise providing housing and community support for the Borough of Wellingborough, and after its name change to Greatwell Homes became its Patron.In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Northampton and also became a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2016, he was awarded an honorary DLitt by the University of Warwick. In 2019 he was appointed Honorary Chaplain to the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers.
In 2014 the first volume of his memoirs, Fathomless Riches, was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. In 2016 a follow-up volume, Bringing In The Sheaves, was published.
In July 2017 he was elected a Fellow of King's College London and, separately, Chancellor of the University of Northampton.
Coles still works as a broadcaster, which he describes as "just showing off",including Nightwaves on Radio 3, which he formerly presented, and Newsnight Review on BBC Two. He has appeared on the Radio 4 panel game show Heresy twice; firstly in May 2008, then in May 2010. Rev Coles has appeared five times as a guest on the topical television news quiz Have I Got News for You , in 1994, May 2009, May 2013, April 2016 and June 2017. He presented a special edition of Songs of Praise in January 2010. He was a guest on the Children in Need special of the BBC quiz Only Connect in November of the same year. In 2011 he presented a four-part Radio 3 series called Out in the World: A Global Gay History.
He regularly guest-hosted the Radio 4 programme Saturday Live , while regular host Fi Glover was on maternity leave from 2008 to 2009: Coles replaced Glover permanently in 2011. On 1 September 2011, he presented a short piece on his home town and parish of Finedon for the Radio 4 programme You and Yours . In December 2012, December 2013 and November 2014, he appeared as a guest on the BBC comedy quiz show QI . In January 2014, he won the BBC's Celebrity Mastermind quiz, his specialist subject being the Mapp and Lucia novels of E. F. Benson.
Coles featured as the subject of Fern Britton Meets... on BBC1 in December 2014. Since 2014 he has appeared regularly in the "Pause for Thought" slot on Radio 2's The Chris Evans Breakfast Show , for which he won a Jerusalem Award in 2014.
In July 2016, he appeared on the BBC cooking series Celebrity Masterchef , finishing in fifth place. In February 2017, he co-presented The Big Painting Challenge with Mariella Frostrup on BBC1. From September 2017, Coles was a contestant for the 15th series of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. He was paired with professional dancer Dianne Buswell and they were the second couple to be eliminated after scoring 14 points for their Pasodoble to Flash Gordon - the lowest scoring Pasodoble in the history of Strictly.
On 18 December 2017, he was a guest panelist on the Christmas special of the eleventh series of the BBC1 comedy quiz Would I Lie To You? , hosted by Rob Brydon.
Coles was captain of the team from the University of Leeds who were series champions on the BBC's Christmas 2019 University Challenge .
Bronski Beat were a British synthpop trio which achieved success in the mid-1980s, particularly with the 1984 chart hit "Smalltown Boy", from their debut album The Age of Consent, which was their only US Billboard Hot 100 single. All members of the band were openly gay and their songs reflected this, often containing political commentary on gay-related issues. The initial line-up, which recorded the majority of the band's hits, consisted of Jimmy Somerville (vocals), Steve Bronski and the late Larry Steinbachek.
James William Somerville is a Scottish pop singer and songwriter. He sang in the 1980s with the pop groups Bronski Beat and The Communards, and has also had a solo career. He is known in particular for his powerful and soulful countertenor/falsetto singing voice. He is openly gay; many of his songs, such as "Smalltown Boy", contain political commentary on gay-related issues.
The Communards were a British pop duo, active from 1985 to 1988. They are most famous for their cover versions of "Don't Leave Me This Way" and "Never Can Say Goodbye".
Christopher Nicholas Parsons was an English actor, straight man and radio and television presenter. He was the long-running presenter of the comedy radio show Just a Minute and hosted the game show Sale of the Century during the 1970s and early 1980s.
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Nicholas "Nick" Baines is a British Anglican bishop. He has been the Bishop of Leeds since 8 June 2014. He is a former Bishop of Bradford, the diocesan bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Bradford.
Finedon is a small town in the Borough of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, with a population at the 2011 census of 4,309 people. In 1086 when the Domesday Book was completed, Finedon was a large royal manor, previously held by Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor. From the 1860s the parish was much excavated for its iron ore, which lay underneath a layer of limestone and was quarried over the course of 100 years or more. Local furnaces produced pig iron and later the quarries supplied ore for the steel works at Corby. A disused quarry face in the south of the parish is a geological SSSI.
Miles Hugh Barrett Jupp is an English comedian and actor. He began his career as a stand-up comedian, before playing the role of the inventor Archie in the British children's television series Balamory. He has also appeared on comedy panel shows, played John Duggan in The Thick of It and Nigel in the sitcom Rev.
Timothy John Stevens, is a retired British Anglican bishop. He was Bishop of Dunwich from 1995 to 1999 and was Bishop of Leicester from 1999 to 2015. From 2003 to 2015, he was a member of the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual and served as Convenor of the Lords Spiritual from 2009 to 2015.
Kenneth Riches was an Anglican Bishop during the second half of the 20th century. He served as the Bishop of Dorchester from 1952 to 1957, and as the Bishop of Lincoln from 1957 to 1974. He was also the Principal of Cuddesdon College, an Anglo-Catholic theological college, between 1945 and 1952.
Mark Christian Ashton was a Northern Irish gay rights activist and co-founder of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) support group. He was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and general secretary of the Young Communist League.
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Red is the second album from British pop duo The Communards. The Stephen Hague-produced album was released in 1987 on London Records in the UK and MCA in the US. It reached number 4 in the UK Albums Chart and number 93 on the US Billboard 200 and was certified platinum in the UK. Red features the hits "Never Can Say Goodbye", "Tomorrow", "There's More to Love Than Boy Meets Girl" and "For a Friend".
Nicholas Roderick Holtam is a bishop of the Church of England. Since 2011, he has been the Bishop of Salisbury.
"For a Friend" is a single from the British pop duo The Communards taken from their 1987 album Red.
The Dutch Doll of Finedon was a wooden figure, originally housed at the Girls Charity School in Finedon, Northamptonshire. It was relocated to the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Finedon after the school moved in 1961. It was supposedly named for its similarity to the Dutch national costume, which likely resembled the uniforms worm by the girls who attended the school but "Dutch doll" was a common term for peg wooden dolls. In 1981, the doll was stolen from the church, much to the chagrin of locals, with no progress made in its recovery after investigation by local police.