Leap of faith as ‘clunky’ Coles lim­bers up for Strictly de­but

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Olivia Rudgard

AS A suc­cess­ful mu­si­cian, priest and ra­dio pre­sen­ter, the Rev­erend Richard Coles is un­doubt­edly a man of many tal­ents.

But if his Strictly Come Danc­ing part­ner’s com­ments are any­thing to go by, ball­room and Latin may not be among them.

The Rev­erend’s danc­ing abil­ity falls down by be­ing some­what “clunky”, his pro­fes­sional part­ner has re­vealed.

Dianne Buswell, 27, an Aus­tralian ball­room dancer added that she had an af­fec­tion­ate nick­name for her pro­tege – she calls the pop star turned vicar “Old Revo”, she told his BBC ra­dio pro­gramme Satur­day Live.

But de­spite her part­ner’s fail­ings, Ms Buswell, who is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the show for the first time, added that she was “su­per happy” with the pair­ing. “If noth­ing else, we’re go­ing to have great time,” she said. “I’m re­ally a Strictly Come Danc­ing. happy with the way he’s go­ing. The first two days I said to ev­ery­one ‘look, I am get­ting my flight back to Aus­tralia be­cause I don’t want to be here any more’. And then day three it was like ‘wow’.” Coles ad­mit­ted that his se­cond day of prac­tice was “bad”. “I just couldn’t do it”, he said.

Coles’s danc­ing is “a lit­tle bit clunky at times,” Ms Buswell added, say­ing an ad­di­tional weak­ness was that he “likes to dance in his un­der­wear”, though she said that the un­con­ven­tional cloth­ing choice may ac­tu­ally have im­proved his danc­ing abil­ity. “You felt bet­ter in that out­fit,” she said.

Ms Buswell had pre­vi­ously been a dancer on Aus­tralian show Danc­ing with the Stars, where she was paired with re­tired AFL foot­baller Jude Bolton, who she said was “re­ally fit” and “gor­geous to look at”. But Coles has one ad­van­tage over the Aus­tralian – his mu­si­cal back­ground.

While Bolton “couldn’t count mu­sic”, mean­ing he was un­able to dance alone, Coles was able to use his mu­si­cal tal­ents to dance in­de­pen­dently at an early stage in re­hearsals, she said. Coles, who was a mem­ber of the Eight­ies band the Com­mu­nards, is now vicar of Fine­don in Northamp- ton­shire. The two-man band had a hit in 1986 with Don’t Leave Me This Way. But he said his mu­si­cal ex­ploits had pro­vided lim­ited ground­ing for the BBC pro­gramme, with some “ran­dom move­ments in the Eight­ies” form­ing the bulk of his danc­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Coles is one of the celebrity dancers on the next se­ries of Strictly Come Danc­ing, which starts next Satur­day.

The oth­ers in­clude Alexan­dra Burke, a mu­si­cian, Deb­bie McGee, a ma­gi­cian’s as­sis­tant and Su­san Cal­man, a Glaswe­gian lawyer turned co­me­dian.

Coles will kick off the com­pe­ti­tion by danc­ing a cha-cha to the Eury­th­mics’s There Must be an An­gel, which was re­leased in 1985, the same year he formed the Com­mu­nards with for­mer Bron­ski Beat singer Jimmy Somerville.

The band split in 1988, with Coles fol­low­ing his Chris­tian lean­ings to become a re­li­gious jour­nal­ist be­fore be­ing or­dained as an Angli­can priest in 2005.

‘If noth­ing else, we’re go­ing to have a great time; I’m happy with the way he’s go­ing’

Richard Coles meets the dancers of this year’s His danc­ing has been de­scribed as ‘clunky’ by Dianne Buswell, be­low

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