Welsh singer and actor Ian ‘H’ Watkins – from pop sensation Steps – has agreed to become one of the new patrons of Pride Cymru – the charity organisation behind Wales’ largest celebration of equality and diversity.

In a personal account filmed for BBC Wales’ Week In Week Out, Ian described growing up gay in the former coal mining valley of Rhondda ‘a nightmare’, and came out while entering Celebrity Big Brother in 2007, with stars such as Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty.

Pride Cymru Trustee member Lisa Power said: ‘Ian understands what it’s like to be a young LGBT person growing up in Wales. His successful entertainment career shows that you can realise your dreams, whoever you are and wherever you start from. He and Steps have done a lot to support LGBT causes over the years and he’s a great role model. We hope to welcome him to the Parade and Event this year.’

Pride Cymru (previously known as Cardiff Mardi Gras) is on Saturday 16 August, with live main stage acts and cabaret performances. The parade will return for its third year running, themed this year as ‘Welsh Pride is…’ to embrace the new name change.

Watkins appeared on ITV Wales’ Time of Your Life, where he spoke about his life in pop, his hopes for a child with his partner and the future for Steps.