They topped the charts throughout the Noughties with a string of classic pop hits – and now the original Atomic Kitten line-up are back and will headline Liverpool Pride Festival 2017.

The announcement comes following an unforeseen change to the headline act at this year’s festival, which had previously been confirmed as Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond.

Almond, who is originally from Southport and turns 60-years- old this Summer, was due to be the main act on the Barclays Main Stage on Saturday 29 July at the St George’s Quarter, next to the iconic St George’s Hall Liverpool. However, this year marks the 50 th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the singer’s commitment to TV and radio appearances have left him in a difficult position and ultimately having to cancel his performance at Liverpool Pride 2017.

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

“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.”

Marc 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.

The original line-up of Liverpool’s favourite female pop trio Atomic Kitten – Natasha HamiltonKerry Katona and Liz McClarnon – have now stepped in to save the day and will perform the headline slot on the Barclays Main Stage on Saturday 29 July, ensuring the Pride crowds have a day to remember.

The Kittens 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 Natasha, Kerry and Liz are touring their trademark pop catalogue and can’t wait to hit the stage in their hometown to entertain the Liverpool Pride crowds.

Atomic Kitten said: “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.”

Liverpool Pride – the region’s annual festival to celebrate all things LGBT+ – is now one of the major events in the city’s Summer events programme, attracting more than 25,000 people.

Now in its eighth consecutive year, the festival will take place across two days – Saturday 29 July and Sunday 30 July. The theme of this year’s Pride is International Love, complementing the city’s wider 50 Summers of Love festival, which celebrates 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Liverpool Pride’s Lucy Day added: “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.”

Liverpool Pride Festival 2017 is supported by headline sponsor Barclays, who are embarking upon a 12-month community partnership which will provide access to employment and financial services, as well as access to training for digital and financial awareness supported by the many Barclays colleagues across its branch network and contact centres in Kirkby and Wavertree Technology Park.

Further support for the Liverpool Pride Festival 2017 also comes from Manchester Airport as the official Airport Sponsor; Radio City as the official Media Partner; and Signature Living as the official Hotel Partner.

Keep up to date with Liverpool Pride announcements at:

Website www.liverpoolpride.co.uk
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Twitter @LiverpoolPride