Reverend Richard Coles opens up about finding new love three years after tragic death of husband

Richard Coles (L) and Richard Dickie Cant (R).

TV favourite Reverend Richard Coles has confirmed that he has found love again through online dating, three years after the tragic death of his husband.

Since the tragic death of his late husband David Coles in December 2019, the Reverend Richard Coles has been vocal about his journey learning how to cope with loss – pouring his feelings onto the page with his 2021 memoir The Madness of Grief: A Memoir of Love and Loss and exploring bereavement in the emotional 2022 Channel 4 documentary Good Grief.

Although the Strictly star was left heartbroken by the devastating loss, Coles has now revealed that he’s since found new romance with British actor Richard (Dickie) Cant, best known as the son of children’s television presenter and late actor Brian Cant.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Coles, who features on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live, said that’d he’d found love with the help of online dating after signing up to EliteSingles this year, which he described as “one for old gays”.

“I wanted to go on a website where I would meet someone who was not looking for a sugar daddy, who was my age, who lived in my sort of world, who I could share my life with,” Coles explained.

Reverend David (L) and Richard Coles (R).
The Reverend David (L) with his civil partner Richard Coles (R). (Twitter/@revrichardcoles)

According to Coles, it was Cant who made the first move by sending a “hello wave”, and after a few text exchanges, they realised just how much they had in common.

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Their first date took place at the Royal Horticultural Society property “because that’s what old gays do” and by the end of the lunch Coles “knew he wanted to see him again”.

“And then it just went very quickly, really,” he concluded.

Since then, a true romance has blossomed, with Coles pointing out that Cant is unfazed by his fame after a stranger photographed them together at lunch. In turn, Coles doesn’t mind that Cant is an atheist.

As to whether they might move in together, he cryptically replied: “We seem to be very easily alongside each other in our lives.”

Reverend Richard Coles
Reverend Richard Coles. (Getty for St John Ambulance/ Mike Marsland)

But Coles’ life is still impacted by the death of his late husband, who he entered into a civil partnership with in 2010, as he shared elsewhere in the interview.

“I’m completely f**ked up about it still,” he said. “It messed my f**king life up. And I have this anger. I’m angry when people speak in a way that means they think you should be over it. It’s not a cold.”

Coles also addressed about the nature of his relationship with David, which was long believed to be celibate according to the guidelines of the Church of England.

“It wasn’t [celibate],” he explained. “It’s true, bang to rights, I was dishonest. I don’t like breaking an oath, but if it is one that is unholy then I don’t feel the moral obligation to observe it.”

Alongside a new relationship, the former Communards star is also set to release his second novel, A Death in the Parish on 8 June, 2023.