Marcus Collins serenades crowds at Cardiff Mardi Gras

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X Factor star Marcus Collins performed at Wales’ biggest annual gay pride event, Cardiff Mardi Gras on Saturday to thousands of fans. The Mercy singer tweeted afterwards “Wow what a night”.

Also on the bill was M People singer Heather Small and 2008 X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.

The Elephant singer had angered fans of Brighton Pride on the same day after appearing to ‘snub’ the event, with the star blaming “technical and production issues”.

For the first time the organisers of Cardiff Mardi Gras held a parade through the city.

Politicians, including Labour MP Chris Bryant, business leaders and LGBT organisations all took part in the procession.

The theme of Mardi Gras 2012 was “visibility increases understanding and reduces fear”.

Mardi Gras Chairman Richard Newton told ITV News that although there have been improvements for LGBT people in Wales, more needs to be done.

“Whilst legislation has moved on and members of the LGBT community are recognized and protected in many aspects of law; the reality is that this doesn’t always happen within our communities, in workplaces, and worse still in people’s homes”.

This year marked the 12th anniversary of the festival.

In February, the Welsh government announced a framework for action to tackle all forms of hate crime, including homophobia.

The government has also launched a survey asking people for their views on tackling hate crime, which closes later today.