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Ex pop star Rev Richard Coles latest Strictly recruit

Pop star turned Northamptonshire vicar, the Rev Richard Coles has signed up for Strictly Come Dancing. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Pop star turned Northamptonshire vicar, the Rev Richard Coles has signed up for Strictly Come Dancing and admitted of his cha, cha, cha: "God does not always endow us with gifts equally".

The 55-year-old said he had been "waiting by the phone for 11 years" to be invited on to the BBC1 show, and that he was "totally serious" about competing.

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

"I'm from the David Brent school of dance. I love dancing and I love music but God does not always endow us with gifts equally, and I was near the back of the queue.

"But I'm not going to let that stop me. "<

– The Rev Richard Coles
Richard Coles is vicar of St Mary's Church in Finedon, Northamptonshire. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

Richard Coles, who was in The Communards had a big hit with Don't Leave Me This Way in the 1980s, said:

"There's more bling in my vestry than in my dressing room."

The broadcaster, who co-hosts BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live, said despite being asked to keep his signing a secret, he had undertaken an "off-the-record briefing" with former Strictly competitor and Norwich City chairman Ed Balls who "gave me a very comprehensive briefing about it".

The former MP and Norwich City chairman Ed Ball has given Richard some advice about appearing on the show. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive

The Rev Coles will be in the show when it kicks off in the autumn, alongside previously announced soap stars Gemma Atkinson and Davood Ghadami, TV host Ruth Langsford and singer Mollie King.

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