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Richard Coles

The Reverend Richard Coles talks to Michael Berkeley about his double life as a celebrity priest and his enduring passion for classical music.

In a revealing and entertaining programme for Easter Day, the Reverend Richard Coles talks to Michael Berkeley about his double life as a celebrity priest and his enduring passion for classical music.

The only vicar to have had a number one hit and to have danced the paso doble dressed as Flash Gordon in front of 10 million television viewers, Richard Coles is also the presenter of Radio 4's Saturday Live and the author of several books including a devastatingly honest autobiography in which he describes how he swapped the sex-and-drugs fuelled world of pop stardom for the life of a parish priest.

Richard talks to Michael about how he balances being a celebrity - appearing on shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, Celebrity Masterchef and Have I Got News For You - with the day to day normalities of being a vicar in rural Northamptonshire. He reveals how Mozart helped his recovery from depression as a teenager, looks back on the risks he took as a hedonistic pop star with The Communards in the 1980s, and talks frankly about the difficulties of being gay in the Church of England.

Classical music has always been at the centre of Richard's life from his days as a teenage pianist and chorister, and he continues to discover new passions such as Janacek and Wagner. He chooses choral music which reminds him of studying theology at King's College London, jazz in memory of his racy grandfather, and the Monks of Solesmes singing from the Gradual Mass of Easter.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3.

Available now

36 minutes

Last on

Sun 1 Apr 2018 12:00

Music Played

  • Leos Janáček

    The Barn Owl has not flown away (On an Overgrown Path)

    Performer: Rudolf Firkušný.
  • Ann Ronell

    Willow weep for me

    Performer: Art Tatum.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony No.41 in C, K.551 (Jupiter) (4th mvt)

    Orchestra: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Conductor: René Jacobs.
  • Peter Wishart

    Jesu, Dulcis Memoria

    Choir: New College Oxford Choir. Conductor: Edward Higginbottom.
  • Richard Wagner

    Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (Act 3, Prelude)

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler.
  • Joseph Haydn

    String Quartet in E flat major, Op.20 no.1 (1st mvt)

    Ensemble: Emerson String Quartet.
  • Anonymous

    Haec Dies (Gradual Mass of Easter)

    Choir: Monks of St Pierre de Solemnes Abbey.

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