Reverend Richard Coles admits to spending 'more than a clergyman should' on drugs

'Don’t Leave Me This Way' singer, the Rev Richard Coles gave an interview in which he described the lavish expenses of his past life as a drug addict

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The Independent Online

Before becoming a Church of England vicar and radio presenter, Rev Richard Coles spent more money than he can remember on drugs.

In an interview with The Telegraph, the Reverend and Radio 4 presenter spoke about how much his drug-taking youth cost him.

"How much have I spent on drugs in my life?" he asked, "Well more than a clergyman should, would be one way of answering that."

For a period in the 1980s he had a bank account soley for the purpose of paying a drug dealer, he explained.

"But I was really not on the case so I’ve no idea. Quite a ridiculous amount I think – probably," Rev Coles said of the amount of money he would have spent.

"There was a very expensive holiday to Ibiza where I think I bought a speedboat," Rev Coles said about the summer of 1989.

"I think there were some mopeds and maybe a jeep… perhaps even a villa. I’m not sure but there was a mad period."

As well as being a host of Radio 4’s family show, Saturday Live, Coles also holds the position of parish priest of Finedon, Northamptonshire where he lives with his civil partner David Oldham.

As the piano-playing member of the 80s band The Communards, Reverend Coles is Britain’s only vicar to have had a No 1 hit, with "Don’t Leave Me This Way".

After the band with Jimmy Sommerville broke up in 1988, Coles went to King’s College in 1990 to study theology before receiving an MA from the University of Leeds and being ordained as a curate.

Rev Coles has "no idea" how much he earned in The Communards. It came in in "dribs and drabs" and amounted to "less than you think", he said.

The Reverend told The Telegraph how he came to turn his life around: "One morning I was on the Tube after I’d been out for three days, I couldn’t remember where I’d been."

"I saw my reflection in the window opposite and thought, 'time to get a grip'," he said.

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