Northampton

The Rev Richard Coles announces death of civil partner

The Reverend Richard Coles Image copyright BBC/Duncan Stingemore
Image caption The Reverend Richard Coles announced the death of his civil partner, David, on Twitter

The civil partner of the Reverend Richard Coles has died, the broadcaster has announced.

The Rev David Coles died after a long illness, the former musician said on Twitter.

Coles also thanked the "brilliant teams" who looked after his partner at Kettering General Hospital.

The couple, both priests, lived together with their dogs in their vicarage in Northamptonshire, according to his website.

Coles, 57, was the keyboard player in the 80s band The Communards and is now vicar of Finedon, Northamptonshire.

He wrote: "I'm very sorry to say that @RevDavidColes has died. He had been ill for a while. Thanks to the brilliant teams who looked after him at @KettGeneral."

Coles is a co-presenter of Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4, was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 and also regularly appears on shows such as Have I Got News For You and QI.

The couple met in 2007 after a sermon and Coles has spoken openly about their celibacy.

He previously told Christian Today. "Of course it has its challenges and sacrifices ... We live in good standing with the teaching of the Church, but I wouldn't wish that to imply that I saw that as a good and noble thing, because I don't, but it is currently where we are."

His post on Twitter prompted messages of condolence.

Dianne Buswell, his former dance partner on Strictly, wrote: "I am so sorry to hear this. Sending all my love to you rev! My prayers and thoughts are with you."

Radio presenter Simon Mayo added: "What devastating news. So sorry to hear this Richard."

Author Philip Pullman posted: "Richard, I'm so sorry to hear that. You have all my sympathy."

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