Thursday 1st, January - Thursday 1st, January

Speaker Profiles

Reverend Richard Coles

Speaker Profile

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 Richard turned his hand to acting, 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, Richard 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. His career in the church inspired the hit BBC2 comedy Rev. (he also advised the makers of the series.)

Richard continues to work in broadcasting, as an opera reviewer and frequent contributor to Newsnight Review/The Review Show. He has featured as a panellist on Have I Got News For You a number of times, co-presents Radio 4’s Saturday Live, and has competed in Masterchef. He also makes time for the odd Songs of Praise special, appearances on QI, This Week and Chris Evans’ Radio 2 show, and he’s won Celebrity Mastermind.