Richard Coles and Jimmy Somerville of The Communards on being socialist and gay and sex education.

Formed in 1985, British duo The Communards are, former singer with Bronski Beat Jimmy Somerville and classically trained musician Richard Coles. The Communards recently topped the United Kingdom (UK) singles chart for four weeks with 'Don't Leave Me This Way' a cover version of the soul classic by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.

The Communards fuse strong social and political messages with pop music,

We are both socialists and gay and I suppose as far as we’re concerned they’re the two most important things really in our lives.

Jimmy Somerville and Richard Coles are aware the law in Ireland makes homosexual acts criminal,

We’re illegal as far as we know.

The duo feel in the UK the campaign to combat Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is woefully inadequate. They would like to see an improvement in sex education and better education surrounding the prevention of acquiring or transmitting HIV.

Jimmy Somerville does feel he is not well enough informed to give an opinion on the political situation in Northern Ireland as he does not live there. However The Communards have just played two dates at the Belfast Opera House. On arrival they realised,

The only thing we knew about Belfast was the Troubles; that was the only thing we knew about it, we knew nothing about the city.

Jimmy Somerville and Richard Coles received a warm welcome from the people in Belfast, which goes against the general opinion in the UK that,

As soon as you step into Belfast you’re more likely to stand on a landmine or get your head blown off or something, it’s ridiculous, it’s so bad.

The Communards play Dublin’s National Stadium on 15 November 1986. Jimmy Somerville and Richard Coles are touring with Sarah Jane Morris, Sally Herbert, June Miles-Kingston, Dave Renwick, Jo Pretzel, Joss Pook, Audrey Riley and Anne Stephenson.

This episode of ‘Evening Extra’ was broadcast on 14 November 1986. The reporter is Richard Crowley.