Beloved TV presenter, ex-Strictly Come Dancing contestant and priest, Reverend Richard Coles, has announced that his civil partner David has died after a long illness.
The former Communards musician and popular broadcaster, 57, shared the heartbreaking news via his Twitter feed this morning (17.12.12).
Richard, who appeared in the 2017 series of Strictly, shared a picture of him and David - also a Reverend - on Twitter, and captioned the image with an emotional message to his followers.
"I’m very sorry to say that @RevDavidColes has died," he wrote. "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'."
Church of England priests Richard and David lived together in a vicarage in Northamptonshire.
The couple entered into a civil partnership in 2005, soon after Richard was ordained into the Anglican church.
Richard frequently shared images from his life with David, often featuring their beloved dogs.
David was 42 when he passed away.
Many of his 209,000 followers rushed to send heartfelt messages of condolence.
"Someone who is so warm, funny and caring who chats to us in our car, kitchen and bedroom feels like family, and his family, ours. With thousands of others, I carry some of your sadness today and hope this thought gives you strength to bear the remainder," one said.
David was funny and kind and a so lovely to spend time with. I am thinking of you and sending prayers.
Celeb pal Fern Britton said: "Dear Richard, I am so sorry to hear this sad news. David was funny and kind and a so lovely to spend time with. I am thinking of you and sending prayers. With my love Fern xxx."
Members of the Strictly family also left messages of support.
2017 winner Joe McFadden said: "I’m so sorry to hear this darling Richard. Sending you much love. Here if you ever need me."
Runner-up in that series, Gemma Atkinson, also commented: "Richard I am so sorry. Sending you lots of love and thinking of you and your family."
Richard's dance partner Dianne Buswell said: "I am so sorry to hear this. Sending all my love to you rev! My prayers and thoughts are with you."
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