Reverend Richard Coles is an English musician, journalist and a former Church of England priest.
Richard is co-presenter of ‘Saturday Live’ on BBC Radio 4.
He read Theology at King’s College London, and after ordination, worked as a curate in Lincolnshire, then at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, in London.
He was the multi-instrumentalist who partnered with Jimmy Somerville in the 1980’s band The Communards, which achieved three Top Ten hits, including the Number 1 record and best-selling single of 1986, a club/dance version of “Don’t Leave Me This Way”.
He lives in his parish of Finedon, Northamptonshire.
The hardback of Richard’s memoir Fathomless Riches: Or How I Went From Pop to Pulpit was published in October 2014 and the paperback was published in September 2015. His second memoir Bringing in the Sheaves was published in October 2016.
Reverend Richard Coles is co-presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live and is regularly seen as a guest panellist on shows such as BBC One’s Have I Got News For You and QI.
Often described as ‘Britain’s most famous vicar‘, Richard was the inspiration for the main character in the BBC hit comedy Rev, a programme for which he also served as a consultant.
In the summer of 2016, he indulged a passion for fine cuisine by taking part in the BBC’s prime-time programme Celebrity Masterchef.
Richard Coles’ work in the media and unique position as the only Vicar to have had a number one hit record, makes him a popular speaker on the after-dinner circuit, regaling many extraordinary and humorous tales of his journey from pop star to priest.
After Dinner Speaker – “From Pop Star To Parson”
In his popular after-dinner speech, From Pop Star To Parson, Richard Coles tells a story that is as real as it is unlikely. He connects the euphoria and mayhem of being ‘Top of The Pops’ in the 80s — which resonates with audiences of that era — to his present circumstances as Church of England priest, radio broadcaster and television show panellist — which resonates with all sorts of people — and enables him to reach a wide audience, answering amongst many burning questions, “How do you go from pop star to priest? And why?”
Conference & Keynote Speaker
As a high-profile openly gay priest, Richard Coles is increasingly asked to address audiences around the themes of LGBT, Diversity and Inclusion.
He also has a particular interest in housing and building communities — he is on the board of a housing association – Wellingborough Homes – and has spoken to several national conferences on this theme.
Richard is also frequently asked to speak on other appropriate, but perhaps less obvious speech themes, including Trust and Ethics, to which he can bring a unique and interesting perspective as a member of the clergy.