Strictly Come Dancing: Reverend Richard Coles is hitting the dancefloor

The news was revealed on Chris Evans’s Radio 2 show.

Press Association
Last updated: 11 August 2017 - 10.44am

Former Communards star Rev Richard Coles is the latest contestant announced for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

He will be joining the show in the autumn, alongside previously announced soap stars Gemma Atkinson and Davood Ghadami, TV host Ruth Langsford and singer Mollie King.

[Read more: Who are the stars of Strictly 2017?]

As his name was announced on Chris Evans’s Radio 2 breakfast show, Coles joked: “There’s more bling in my vestry than in their dressing room.”

He said: “I’ve been waiting by the phone for 11 years. We had this top secret meeting… I cunningly disguised myself as a cardinal… They said ‘do you fancy it?’ I said ‘not half’.”

And he added in a statement: “Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight vicar with arthritis in his knees.”

Rev Coles is a writer, broadcaster and Church of England priest and co-hosts BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live.

His success with The Communards included Don’t Leave Me This Way, the biggest-selling single of 1986.

He recently co-hosted BBC1’s The Big Painting Challenge and was an inspiration for the main character in the hit comedy Rev.

Coles is vicar of St Mary’s Church in Finedon, Northamptonshire, and Chancellor of the University of Northampton.

[Read more: Strictly Come Dancing - Meet this year's pros]