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Richard Coles was reprimanded by the church after Have I Got News For You slot

The broadcaster said he had become more ‘wary’ of his language.

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Richard Coles (Ian West/PA)

Richard Coles (Ian West/PA)

Richard Coles (Ian West/PA)

The Reverend Richard Coles says he was once reprimanded by the church after letting out a “bad word” on the panel show Have I Got News For You.

The broadcaster is trying his hand at stand-up comedy for Stand Up And Deliver, a new two-part series on Channel 4 in support of Stand Up To Cancer.

However, he said he would avoid foul language in his routines or risk disciplinary action, according to the Clergy Discipline Measure.

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David Baddiel is training Reverend Richard Coles for the show (Jacob King/PA)

David Baddiel is training Reverend Richard Coles for the show (Jacob King/PA)

David Baddiel is training Reverend Richard Coles for the show (Jacob King/PA)

Speaking to Radio Times, he said: “I could be done under the terms of the clergy discipline measure. I once let out a bad word on Have I Got News For You. When I opened my email the next day, the first thing I saw was ‘Lambeth Palace complaint’. I’ve been a bit wary since.”

Coles’ sister-in-law died last year after contracting Covid-19 during treatment for cancer and in 2019 his civil partner, the Rev David Coles, who was also a priest, died after a long illness.

He said he was comfortable laughing when faced with an event such as the death of a loved one.

Explaining his reasons for joining the show, he said: “Well, as a vicar, of course I spend a lot of my time laughing in the face of death. It comes with the territory, and dark humour is good and cool.

“Also my sister-in-law died of cancer, and Covid, in the middle of all this… so being involved with Stand Up to Cancer is obviously a good thing.”

He added: “David’s dying was actually full of comedy, which made me and him laugh when he was in a fit state to appreciate what was going on.

“Medics, undertakers and clergy have a black sense of humour, but I’m not sure it’s something for public consumption.”

Coles has been paired with established comedian David Baddiel, who is mentoring and training him ahead of a special performance.

The five amateurs also include soap star Katie McGlynn and reality TV personality Curtis Pritchard.

Coles is a regular contributor to Have I Got News For You and has appeared in a number of episodes, although he did not say when he made the comment or what language he used.

The full interview is in Radio Times magazine, out now.

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