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Reverend Richard Coles admits for first time his husband died of alcoholism

Reverend Richard Coles has confirmed that his husband David died from alcoholism after it "destroyed" his partner of 12 years.

The Strictly Come Dancing star, 59, said it was "tough to watch someone you love destroy himself" as he watched as David died in December 2019.

Taking to his Twitter back then, Richard broke the news by tweeting: "I’m very sorry to say that @RevDavidColes has died.

"He had been ill for a while. Thanks to the brilliant teams who looked after him at @KettGeneral."

And now in his new book The Madness of Grief: A Memoir of Love and Loss, the reverend explained that David "died of drink" at the age of 42.

In the book, he wrote: "It was really, really tough to see somebody you love destroy himself.

"It is like someone is drowning and you throw them a lifebelt but they are just not taking the lifebelt. And I did try everything I could think of to help him stop drinking, and in fairness to him he did try too, but it was too much for him.

"The second thing is, it is just very awkward, especially if you are a vicar and you are meant to be unflappable and perfect and my life was not and is not perfect and I wasn’t unflappable when David’s drinking was at its worst."

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Richard said he thinks David drank as a "coping mechanism" and that he adored having a drink.

The couple lived together with their five Dachshunds and Richard spoke fondly about their life together, and his love for David, on his Radio 4 show: Saturday Live.

They met when David went to hear Richard preach in Norwich and fell in love.

In 2005, Richard was ordained into the Anglican priesthood and lived a celibate life with David Oldham, a curate in a neighbouring parish.

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Richard also hit headlines shortly after Phillip Schofield came out as gay after the reverend asked and was rejected by Phillip for a date.

Richard popped the question to Phillip, also 58, during an awkward live interview which saw him ask the star to join him for dinner and drinks.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4's Saturday Morning Live over the weekend, the vicar revealed that sadly Phillip had rejected his request.

The vicar made the confession after a fan asked for an update on whether Phillip had responded to his sweet gesture to go on a date.

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"So did you get a date with Phillip?" the fan asked, to which Richard responded: "Not so much."

On Saturday, he made the proposal when he interviewed Phillip, who was promoting his new book Life's What You Make It, on the radio show.

Sadly it was a no from Phillip…

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