Reverend Richard Coles: BBC Radio 4 host ‘forced’ to quit popular show after 12 years

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Richard Coles said he wished for “a gentler process” from the BBC.

Reverend Richard Coles has expressed sadness over his departure from BBC Radio 4 show Saturday Live. The news follows a decision by the BBC to relocate the programme to Cardiff.

The relocation from London to Cardiff marks the BBC’s attempt to spread across the UK. It means more broadcasting will take place from the likes of Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham as part of the strategy.

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The host, formerly a vicar with the Church of England, expressed his disappointment in the way the BBC handled the situation. Reverend Coles was previously a member of 1980s pop group the Communards, known for hit songs like Don’t Leave Me This Way.

Speaking of his disappointment in the departure, Richard told the Guardian: “If you leave a programme after 12 years, a gentler process would have been nice. But what happens happens.

“It just feels a little bit rushed. It’s been frustrating for me having to wait for an announcement, and now it’s my last programme on Saturday. I’d rather have had a longer goodbye to listeners.

“It just feels a bit sad. I’m sorry to go; I love the programme, I’ve loved the people I’ve worked with, and it’s been a big part of my life. I shall miss it.”

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Richard said that he is planning to do “something different” from the BBC Radio 4 show after the news. He also said it was time for him to take part in other projects and get his weekends back.

Richard announced the departure in a statement: “After more than a decade on Saturday Live the time has come to do something different, spend some time on other projects and get my weekends back. I look forward to reappearing on the network in the future and wish the best to Nikki as Saturday Live continues.”

His co-host Nikki Bedi will continue on the show.

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