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