Concept

Richard Coles

Summary
Richard Keith Robert Coles (born 26 March 1962) is an English writer, radio presenter and Church of England clergyman who was the vicar of Finedon in Northamptonshire from 2011 to 2022. He first came to prominence as the multi-instrumentalist who partnered Jimmy Somerville in the 1980s band the Communards. They achieved three UK 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 frequently appears on radio and television as well as in newspapers and, from March 2011 until March 2023, was the co-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 an author, Chancellor of the University of Northampton, Honorary Chaplain to the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, and a patron of social housing project Greatwell Homes in Wellingborough. 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. Coles 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 learned to play the saxophone, clarinet and keyboards and moved to London in 1980, where he played in theatre. 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.
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