Reverend Richard Coles says his husband died of alcoholism

"It was too much for him"


Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Twitter

Reverend Richard Coles has shared that his husband David died of alcoholism.

The Strictly Come Dancing star announced David's death in December 2019, saying he'd "been ill for a while" but stopping short of revealing what the illness was.

"I’m very sorry to say that @RevDavidColes has died," he said on Twitter at the time. "He had been ill for a while.

"Thanks to the brilliant teams who looked after him at @KettGeneral. Funeral details to follow. 'The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended'."

However, in The Madness of Grief: A Memoir of Love and Loss, Coles confirms alcohol was the cause of David's death.

"It was really, really tough"

In the memoir, radio presenter Coles explains: "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."

Coles goes on to add: "I often think if someone dies of drink as people used to say, that people filed them under a sort of tragic, squalid death. David was so much more than that.

"I wanted to get a sense of why David was so important to those who loved him before we got to a discussion of what killed him."

The Madness of Grief: A Memoir of Love and Loss is on sale from today (1 April 2021).