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Strictly Come Dancing 2017: Rev Richard Coles to grace the floor

Ah, bless: Richard Coles is trading in his dog collar for something a little more sparkly (Picture: Rex)

POP-STAR-TURNED-VICAR the Rev Richard Coles has signed up for Strictly Come Dancing, despite undergoing a medical for the show that he freely admits wasn’t the most positive experience.

The 55-year-old, who had a series of hits in the 1980s as one half of music duo The Communards, describes the check-up as ‘basically a catastrophe’.

However, since the vicar of Finedon in Northamptonshire claims he’s been waiting to be invited on to the show ever since it started, this wasn’t going to put him off.

‘Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight Vicar with arthritis in his knees,’ he said on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show.

‘It’s obvious to anyone who knows me that a major dance talent was waiting to be discovered and the opportunity came along. I’m just wondering why they took so long frankly.’

Rev Coles, who also co-hosts Radio 4’s Saturday Live show, also revealed the way in which he was approached to appear on the show.

‘I’ve been waiting by the phone for 11 years,’ he said.

‘One day it rang. It was a nice lady. She said: “Do you want to have a top secret meeting? Wear a disguise”.

‘I cunningly disguised myself as a cardinal. We met in a bar and we had the discussion. They looked me up and down a bit and said: “Do you fancy it?”. I said: “Not half”.

‘I’m totally serious about it.’

Rev Coles will be in the show when it kicks off in the autumn, alongside previously announced soap stars Gemma Atkinson and Davood Ghadami, TV host Ruth Langsford and singer Mollie King.

He recently co-hosted BBC1’s The Big Painting Challenge and was an inspiration for the main character in the hit comedy Rev.