Reverend Richard Coles opens up about his late partner's alcoholism

Jen Crothers
·2-min read
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images

Reverend Richard Coles has bravely spoken out about his partner dying as a result of alcoholism.

The presenter and former Strictly star lost David in December 2019, aged just 42. He died from complications due to internal bleeding caused by an at the time undisclosed underlying health condition.

The pair had married in a civil partnership in 2011, and had been together since 2007.

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In his new book, The Madness of Grief: A Memoir of Love and Loss, Richard explains that he didn't want David's cause of death to overshadow the sadness of his passing and affect how people remembered him.

"I often think if someone dies of drink as people used to say, that people filed them under a sort of tragic, squalid death," he says. "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."

Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

He explains that it was "really, really tough" to see his partner "destroy himself".

"It is like someone is drowning and you throw them a lifebelt, but they are just not taking the lifebelt," he reveals. "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."

If you are concerned about alcohol misuse, visit NHS.UK for more information and advice.

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