Strictly fans, your fifth celebrity contestant has been revealed! Reverend Richard Coles will be taking to the dance floor for the 2017 series of the dancing competition. The news was announced on Friday during Radio 2's Chris Evans Breakfast Show. Richard is a broadcaster and Church of England priest, best known for co-hosting BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live. Of his participation in Strictly he said, "Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight Vicar with arthritis in his knees."
Reverend Richard Coles is the fifth confirmed Strictly contestant
Richard is currently the only Vicar in Britain to have had a number one hit single with pop band The Communards in the 1980s, which went on to have three UK top ten hits and the biggest-selling single of 1986, Don't Leave Me This Way. The 55-year-old was also an inspiration for the main character in the BBC hit comedy Rev and served as consultant to the series. He is a regular contributor to Pause for Thought on Radio 2, BBC One's Have I Got News For You and QI, and serves as Vicar of St Mary's Church in Finedon, Northamptonshire and Chancellor of the University of Northampton.
Reverend Richard joins Gemma Atkinson, Ruth Langsford, Davood Ghadami and Mollie King who have also been confirmed for the new series. More celebrity contestants will be announced in due course.
The new series of Strictly will begin on BBC One in September. It will be the first series without Len Goodman on the judging panel; Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood will instead by joined by international ballroom champion Shirley Ballas in the head judge role.