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  1. ITV Report

Priest and former pop star takes on new university role

The Rev Richard Cole has become Chancellor of the University of Northampton. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Priest, television presenter and former 80s pop star The Rev Richard Coles has added a new role to his CV - by becoming Chancellor of the University of Northampton.

The Vicar of Finedon, who was born in Northamptonshire, has already had a pretty packed career.

As one half of the pop duo The Communards, he had three Top 10 hits in the UK. He has since gone on to present radio shows, make regular appearances on television programmes including QI and Have I Got News for Use, and was one of the advisers on the BBC's comedy Rev.

He said he wanted to use his Chancellorship to help encourage people into higher education who may not have had the opportunity otherwise.

The Rev Richard Cole has become Chancellor of the University of Northampton. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

"I’m very excited about the role of Chancellor, and the opportunity to build relationships with staff, management and students at the University of Northampton which has a considerable track record in the field of social enterprise, a special interest of mine”.

“The University is of particular significance in the lives of people who may be the first in their family to go to University and who come from a wide range of backgrounds – and in that sense it is a gateway to opportunity for people who have never really had that before.

“I am really keen on helping people make that step up into tertiary education through my work with the University of Northampton.”

– The Rev Richard Cole.

The university's Vice Chancellor Nick Petford said the vicar had been chosen because of his "commitment to the county".

"The Chancellorship demands an inspirational figure who shares our values and encapsulates our vision and mission to transform lives and inspire change.

"The Rev Richard Coles fits the bill perfectly and we are thrilled he has joined us."

– Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor, University of Northampton.