Former Communards star the Reverend Richard Coles is the latest contestant to be announced for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One.

The 55-year-old, who enjoyed top-of-the-charts success with The Communards' cover of Don't Leave Me This Way in 1986, told Chris Evans' breakfast show on BBC Radio 2 that he had been "waiting by the phone for 11 years" to take part in Strictly, which returns to screens next month.

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"We had this top secret meeting," he recounted. "She said, 'Wear a disguise'. I met them in a bar. We had this discussion. They said, 'Do you fancy it?' I said 'Not half'."

"I'm totally serious about it," the Church of England clergyman added.

Emmerdale's Gemma Atkinson is also taking part in Strictly this year

The Vicar of St Mary's Church in Finedon in Northamptonshire joins Emmerdale's Gemma Atkinson, EastEnders' Davood Ghadami, presenter Ruth Langsford and former Saturdays star Mollie King in the line-up for Strictly, with more names to be revealed in the days ahead.

EastEnders' Davood Ghadami is the latest star of the soap to join Strictly

Coles co-hosts BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live and recently co-presented BBC One's The Big Painting Challenge. He was also the inspiration for the hit comedy BBC comedy Rev.

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