But Atomic Kitten step in to make it whole again

THE original line up of Atomic Kitten will headline this summer’s Liverpool Pride after singer Marc Almond was forced  pull out.

A clashing TV and radio appearance - linked to this year’s 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality - prompted the “unforseen” decision by the Soft Cell frontman.

Almond, 60, who is from Southport, was due to be the main act on the Barclays Main Stage, next to St George’s Hall on Saturday July 29.

“I was so looking forward to playing Liverpool Pride this year but an unexpected TV and radio performance to mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK has meant that I am unable to make an appearance,” he says.

“We tried to make both events work but it has proved impossible. I wish Liverpool Pride every success on the day and I really do hope that I will return to perform in Liverpool for Pride next year – a city very close to my heart.”

But never mind all that. Swinging in to save the day is Queen of the Jungle Kerry Katona and her original chart-topping Atomic Kitten bandmates Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon.

Marc Almond

The trio shot to fame in the Noughties with a string of hits including Number One single Whole Again which remains one of the biggest UK hits of the past decade, reaching the top chart spot in 19 countries.

After appearing on ITV2’s The Big Reunion in 2013, Atomic Kitten reformed in the band’s original format. Now the three are touring their trademark pop catalogue. 

They can’t wait to hit the stage in their hometown to entertain the Liverpool Pride crowds, it says here.

“We are so excited to be playing Liverpool Pride 2017. Liverpool is where it all began for us. The city is so close to our hearts and, no matter where we go, it will always be home. Liverpool crowds really are the best, the atmosphere is always amazing – and we really cannot wait to be part of such a fantastic festival.”

Almond will continue to support Liverpool Pride this year through art. The Marc Almond Exhibition is a new collection of images and ephemera celebrating his career, and includes work created by the man himself. The exhibition will run at The Gallery on Stanhope Street between 15 July and 13 August. Entry is free.

 Liverpool Pride’s Lucy Day said: “Although we are sad to lose Marc Almond from this year’s line-up, he will still be supporting such an important milestone for LGBT+ and we hope he will perform for us in the future. Liverpool’s very own Atomic Kitten will now headline the festival. We know they’ll bring with them a real party atmosphere, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to Liverpool Pride 2017.”