Boris Johnson, Martina Navratilova and Clare Balding to take part in Pride London festival

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Organisers of this year’s Pride in London have confirmed that the event will go ahead, with London Mayor Boris Johnson hosting a special Gala dinner at Claridge’s on 25 June.

Saturday 29 June is the main day of the festival and the capital’s annual Pride parade will proceed from Baker Street to Trafalgar Square.

Tennis star Martina Navratilova will kick off a week-long festival of Pride in London on Sunday 23 June at the St James’ Theatre with a very special ‘Audience with Martina Navratilova’ hosted by BBC sports presenter Clare Balding.

Martina Navratilova said: “London holds a very special place in my heart. But it’s not just Wimbledon I love; it is the city itself, which is so welcoming and energetic. I am proud to be part of the first Pride in London to be organised by London LGBT+ Community Pride. I want everyone to come out and support the events and remember that Pride is about campaigning as well as celebrating.  The campaign for Equal Marriage in the UK and in the US is an important one and we should show solidarity and work together for greater acceptance and equality for all.”

She added: “I am looking forward to taking part in the pride event on 23rd June with Clare Balding and I think it’s great that the opening event is focused on women. I am also honoured to be Global Foundation Patron of Pride in London.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Our Pride celebrations are one of the biggest events of the year as befits a city with a large LGBT population. The diversity of people taking part encapsulates why our city is one of the most exciting places on earth to live. I’m delighted to support this fabulous event. Here’s to it being a massive success.”

Chairman of London LGBT+ Community Pride Michael Salter said: “I am honoured to be part of an amazing team that in record time has put together Pride in London. Over the last four months a huge amount of hard work has gone in to recruit over 1,200 volunteers, raise sponsorship money and plan the event.  I want to thank everyone involved, our suppliers, contractors, sponsors and supporters for all they have done and continue to do. I also want to specifically thank Martina, Clare and Boris for being part of this year’s Pride in London and showing their commitment to the LGBT+ community and our City.”

The festival programme includes: Summer Rites Pride in the Park music festival in Shoreditch Park; Special Pride film screenings at the BFI and Channel 4; A Gay Photographers’ Network exhibition at Foyles; A London Gay Symphony Orchestra Concert and Polari’s tour of Tate Britain, Queer Britannia.