Five miss their Mardi Gras date due to Sean Conlin's glandular fever, while Atomic Kitten battle on despite a broken nose and nodules...

FIVE were forced to pull out of the LONDON MARDI GRAS in FINSBURY PARK at the last minute last night (June 30) because of illness and video shoot commitments.

According to organisers, the group’s Sean Conlin is suffering from glandular fever. However, it was also stated that they had been tied up shooting a video for their single ‘Let’s Dance’ and were unable to make it due to work commitments. The band sent a video message apologising for being unable to appear at the event, the UK’s biggest lesbian and gay festival which saw people travel from all over the country to take part in the concert and the preceding Gay Pride march from central London.

However, reports this morning suggest that with Conlin requiring up to six weeks’ recuperation period, the group’s single and album could be delayed.

Atomic Kitten had to play a foreshortened set after they were hit by a double health blow, with Natasha Hamilton being diagnosed as suffering from nodules – a painful throat condition which makes it difficult to sing – and Liz McLarnon suffering from a fractured nose, which it is understood she sustained some time ago. However the trio did take the stage and sang their Number One hit ‘Whole Again’ and new single ‘Eternal Flame’.

Belinda Carlisle joined the line-up at the last minute, while Steps debuted their next single, a cover of Diana Ross’ ‘Chain Reaction’, and Hear’say sang the B-side to their current single ‘Boogie Wonderland’, which is expected to go to Number One later today (July 1). Other acts who appeared included Mel B, Bjorn Again, Popstars runners up AllStars and for the first time featured an indie stage with Gene, Rialto, Gay Dad and EMF among the acts who performed.

The event closed with headliners A1‘s performance, which was partly acoustic and wound up with their cover of A-Ha’s ‘Take On Me’, for which they were backed by the Pink Singers, a gay and lesbian choir.

Among the celebrity guests backstage were Matt Lucas of ‘Rock Profile’ fame, comedian Alan Davies, and comperes for the afternoon event, Graeme Norton and Lorraine Kelly.