Rev Coles to reveal his Strictly secrets on NLive radio

Date 9.07.2018

Fans of Strictly Come Dancing will be in for a treat this Wednesday when former contestant Rev Richard Coles will be lifting the lid on his stint on the hit television show.

Richard, who is Chancellor of the University of Northampton, will be the special studio guest on the Open For Business programme, which airs on Wednesday evening on Northampton’s community radio station, NLive.

During the show, listeners will be able to hear how Richard rated his performances on the 2017 Strictly series, when he was the second celebrity dancer to be eliminated.

“It was mostly a happy experience, until I actually saw how bad I was,” said Richard. “That was a bit of a wake-up call.

“But there are worse things in life than making a fool of yourself, of course, and it was a fantastic experience.

“When I signed up for Strictly, I thought I’d be quite good at it – and I turned out to be really bad at it, and that was interesting. I was the second one to leave the show and had the lowest score ever for any pasa doble in the history of Strictly.

“But it was a fantastic experience and I learnt an awful lot, not least how wonderful dancers are – how tough they need to be, and how they are able to do the most breathtaking things.”

Richard added: “When I was competing in Strictly I was also filming The Big Painting Challenge. So I had 12-hour shoots during the day, followed by four-hour dance rehearsals in a leisure centre, surrounded by these little kids doing karate, which was quite weird.

“I lost a stone, it was physically gruelling but I hadn’t realised how mentally gruelling it would be.”

Richard will be joined in the studio for Wednesday’s show by Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford, and the programme’s presenter, Adrian Pryce, who is Senior Lecturer in Strategy and International Business at the University.

Nick has revealed he too has a background, of sorts, in dance.

He revealed: “I actually have a level 1 qualification in Latin ballroom dancing. I can do the cha-cha, a jive and another one I can’t remember the name of.

“It was during my time at Liverpool University, when I was studying for my PhD. I went to a class with some friends, more for a laugh than anything, but I found I actually enjoyed it.”

Richard told Nick: “If I’d known I’d have asked you for lessons!”

Wednesday’s show will also see Nick talk about the University’s move to Waterside Campus, with Richard talking about moving from Corby to London in the 1970s and founding The Communards, who scored 1986’s best-selling single.

The show runs from 7pm to 9pm on Wednesday and you can listen online at or on 106.9fm in Northampton.