this is bbc news — these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. the world health organization says the omicron coronavirus variant has now been identified in 89 countries. uk government scientific advisers warn that tougher covid restrictions are needed "very soon" to prevent a big rise in hospital admissions in england. shopping centres and football stadiums are among nearly 3000 venues in england offering booster jabs this weekend. some will open round—the—clock. the uk's top civil servant steps down from running an inquiry into downing street parties because of an event in his own office. the british socialite, ghislaine maxwell, who denies sex trafficking charges in the united states, has told the court she won't
be giving evidence. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. the world health organization says the omicron variant of the coronavirus has now been identified in at least 89 countries — and is spreading significantly faster than the delta strain. the who says it's taking only three days at the most for cases of omicron to double. the rapid spread has seen a raft of new restrictions brought in across europe. lucy grey has this report. as countries across europe brace themselves for a sharp rise in cases due to the omicron variant, hospitality and travel are the main targets for the new restrictions. the omicron variant of the covid—19 virus
is exploding throughout europe. it is here, it is in our country. and we are going to see a massive rise in infections. in ireland, all restaurants, bars, cinemas and theatres will have to close at 8pm from sunday, although weddings for up to 100 people will be allowed until midnight. the government is promising new financial support for companies after warnings that the new rules could cause up to 70,000 job losses. this was the scene at london's eurostar late on friday as britons rushed to try to get over to france before it closed its borders to uk passport holders. the french government has banned major public parties and fireworks displays on new year's eve and the army has been brought in to help with the boosterjabs and ministers have approved the use of vaccinations for children from the age of five. record numbers of new cases in denmark have brought restrictions on restaurant opening hours, too, and cinemas, theatres and concert halls are closing.
in switzerland, from monday, you will have to show proof of vaccination or recovery from covid to be allowed into restaurants or a negative test result to get into bars or nightclubs. the german government is warning that the next wave will be a massive challenge for its hospitals and society as a whole and has banned unvaccinated people from restaurants and nonessential commerce. french and danish travellers who have not been vaccinated will now have to quarantine on arrival in germany. with health care systems across europe under strain, the head of the european commission says that vaccination is key. we know that our health care systems are overstretched right now and this is partly linked to the large number of unvaccinated patients, so in conclusion, the answer can only be to increase vaccination to include children over five years of age, boosting and protective measures, that has to be the answer that we give to this new variant. and in the netherlands, is the health care system deals with an influx of covid patients,
routing care and all but urgent operations have been postponed. dutch ministers are meeting health advisers on saturday after they recommended that the country go into a strict lockdown. lucy grey, bbc news. scientists advising the uk government on coronavirus say more stringent restrictions will need to be implemented "very soon" in england if ministers want to prevent hospital admissions reaching 3000 per day. the comments are included in leaked minutes from a meeting of the scientific advisory group for emergencies, or sage. the government's cobra committee will meet this weekend, to discuss the spread of the omicron variant. professor neil ferguson — who sits on the group — told bbc radio 4 that the situation looks precarious the epidemic of omicron is in london, very obviously now, but it is not obvious in every region, so we think omicron is doubling in case numbers every three days or so at the moment and that will become more
apparent across the entire country in the coming week. the thing we are most anxiously looking at and analysing is what is happening to hospitalisation numbers, because that is really the key indicator in terms of how well we are coping with this epidemic. and we see quite a significant surge of hospitalisations in london, the region which is most ahead, but less of an indication in other regions. one bit of good news is that the booster programme really has accelerated this week. we were up to nearly 900,000 boosters given yesterday and that has almost doubled in the matter of the few days and everything we can do to boost immunity in the population is going to be good news going forward. 0k. but as far as hospitals are concerned, we can see from the leaked minutes of sage that they say without extra restrictions, the number could peak at 3000 a day or more and that in england, in the last winter,
at the height of the last winter wave, it was 4000 people admitted to hospital in england every day with covid. are you saying that with the infection picture at the moment and with the doubling rate, that we might well be heading for a very serious position with hospitals in the next few weeks? yes, and i think everybody, i mean chris whitty is said exactly the same in his last press conference, that is the major concern and we will be able to be more certain of that scenario, exactly what we are heading into, in the next few days and i think with the increasing amounts of data coming in, there is a real concern we will be heading into something which has the risk of overwhelming the health service. the vaccines minister, maggie throup, has visited a royal mail sorting centre where tested are being collected and posted. she said it was important that everyone got tested before they visited friends and family this christmas. she also said anyone who needs
a test, will get one. there is record numbers of people testing positive, but that is importing that we do get the pcr test out to people through the home channels and testing sites and lateral flow devices and that is why it has been really important royal mail have come together with the uk health security agency to make sure that we can get the test to people when they need them. professor lawrence young is a virologist at the university of warwick. thank you forjoining us. where do you think we are in terms of the spread of omicron currently? four days ago there was an estimation there was around 2000 daily cases in there was around 2000 daily cases in the population. we there was around 2000 daily cases in the inundation-— the population. we know these estimates tend _ the population. we know these estimates tend to _ the population. we know these estimates tend to be _ the population. we know these - estimates tend to be underestimates, it is difficult to know for sure, but looking at the daily case numbers, it's likely that the infections are more or less doubling every couple of days. there is always a lag between getting test results through, so we just expect it will be hundreds of thousands of cases of omicron all over the country, and it's clearly able to
outcompete the delta variant. what outcompete the delta variant. what do ou outcompete the delta variant. what do you think — outcompete the delta variant. what do you think is _ outcompete the delta variant. what do you think is the _ outcompete the delta variant. what do you think is the approach to dealing with thatis difficult, the keyissueis dealing with thatis difficult, the key issue is at the maxi will result in serious disease and there is a lag between getting infected, getting the test, getting results. this will become clear over the next week or so but we do not have the luxury of waiting and that's the problem. what we have to do now to be really sure we can protect ourselves in the nhs is planned for the worst whilst we are hoping for the worst whilst we are hoping for the best. ~ ., , ., the best. what with the planning look like as _ the best. what with the planning look like as far _ the best. what with the planning look like as far as _ the best. what with the planning look like as far as you _ the best. what with the planning look like as far as you are - look like as far as you are concerned? it look like as far as you are concerned?— look like as far as you are concerned? ., , , , . concerned? it really is difficult, but a circuit _ concerned? it really is difficult, but a circuit break— concerned? it really is difficult, but a circuit break over - concerned? it really is difficult, l but a circuit break over christmas would be a really useful thing. i think if we wait too long it will be too late. we can'tjust wait for hospitalisations to inevitably increase. my view is, and another is something the government will have to seriously think about this
weekend, is that short, short two weekend, is that short, short two week break and i will be extremely useful, and what that means is making sure people are socially distancing, limiting contacts and going back to some of the restrictions we had earlier in the year. restrictions we had earlier in the ear. ~ , ., _ restrictions we had earlier in the ear. ~ ., ., ., year. when you say now and over christmas. _ year. when you say now and over christmas, do _ year. when you say now and over christmas, do you _ year. when you say now and over christmas, do you mean - year. when you say now and over christmas, do you mean literally| year. when you say now and over - christmas, do you mean literally now is in before christmas? some of the speculation is around a two—week circuit break from the 27th of december. mi; circuit break from the 27th of december-— circuit break from the 27th of december. ~ , ., ., december. my view and ignore the view of many _ december. my view and ignore the view of many of — december. my view and ignore the view of many of my _ december. my view and ignore the view of many of my colleagues - december. my view and ignore the view of many of my colleagues is l view of many of my colleagues is that that will be too late. if we leave it too long with a virus that is doubling every couple days, the problem is this... even if omicron, does, and it's a big if, because less of a disease, if you have so many people infected a small proportion of those will get severe disease and be hospitalised and that small number is actually not that smart because it's of a large caseload and that is the worry, that if this is doubling every couple days it is going to really test their ability to use pcr, it will
limit some of that. there will be so many cases. we will start to see what we are already getting himself in london, not taken hospitalisations. if we leave it too long there is too much inevitability built into this that we will end up with in excess of 3000 hospitalisations a day. what we got to do now is limit social contact as much as possible. some of that we can do for ourselves, but i do wonder about whether or not the government needs to think more seriously about composing some of this, recognising if they do that they will need to think about economic support for businesses. as we've been hearing tough new restrictions on entering france from the uk have come into force. tourists have been banned, in an attempt by the french government to slow the spread of the omicron variant. french citizens and residents are exempt. mark lowen is in the french
ski—resort of chamonix. he explained how the restrictions are impacting ski resorts in france. brits make up the largest foreign cohort to the french ski resorts as a whole, and so the french businesses that depend on british custom are really beginning to worry about yet another lost season, and the sad irony all is that the conditions are absolutely perfect. you can probably see the gorgeous blue skies behind me, there has been a lot of early snow here in the season and with the ferries and flights and trains fully booked, actually, from the uk through these next few weeks, the french resorts were really looking forward to a bumper christmas season, but then came the announcement on thursday from the french government they were pulling up the drawbridge to all but essential travel, saying that omicron was going to be like a landslide to hit the uk. the french prime minister has now compared it to lightning tearing through france
potentially as well. they've just cancelled all new year's eve firework displays across the country, hospitals are filling up peer and even though they omicron numbers are at the moment much lower than in the uk, they are very worried about the transfer of the variant. that is why for the moment they are willing to sacrifice british tourists coming to the french ski resorts and to other parts of france as a whole day next few weeks. london is the epicentre of the uk's current surge in covid infections — the greatest number of omicron cases are in the capital. london's mayor sadiq khan has been speaking in the past hour... i'm incredibly worried. if we were speaking a few weeks ago, london had the fewest cases of covid in the country, now we are the region with the largest number of cases. omicron is now the dominant variant, but over the last 2a hours we've had 27,000 new cases of covid, those are
the ones that have been tested, and over the last week that figure is above 70,000. i'm incredibly concerned about the number of londoners with this variant but also the impact on our hospitals, hospital admissions are now going up as well. despite this kind of - facilities, the latest figures show something like one in three londoners still hasn't even had a first vaccine dose. how has that happens? what has gone wrong? the brilliant news is more than 15.4 million vaccines have been given out the nhs in england says boosterjabs will be available at nearly 3000 locations across the country this weekend, in response to the spread of the omicron variant. our reporter, ben boulos, is at a vaccination centre in north london which is staying open for 2h hours. here at this vaccination centre in north london, they have been going throughout the night, running what they call a 24—hour jabathon. they started at six o'clock yesterday evening and they are going right through until six o'clock this evening. already they have delivered 2500 vaccinations, they are aiming to deliver 5000 by the time they finish this tent. as you can see, here people arrive, they check in, register
for the vaccination and then they go through where the vaccination volunteers and the medical practitioners are giving out the doses. there are first doses, second doses and the boosters and it is particularly important here in london, where omicron is hitting hard and case numbers are rising. we will speak to the gp who has overseen all of this and it is doctor russell hearn. russell, the idea of a 24—hour jabathon, it sounds great, but it takes a bit of organising, how easy was it to get this off the ground? yeah, we have got a big team already, we have been vaccinating for a year, we just went past our one—year anniversary of giving the first vaccination, one of the first in north london. 150,000 just about we have given now. so, we were well established, we have been running almost seven days a week, so it was pretty easy to get going for tonight. we had lots of enthusiasm from the team and as well as vaccinating overnight last night and up until six o'clock today, we will be going every day this week up until christmas. it is all very well having
a facility available in the middle of the night for people to come and get vaccinations, were people actually turning up in the dead of night? yeah, we have had a surprising number of people come for their first vaccination, who found it convenient, second vaccinations and boosters and in particular some shift workers, people finishing theirjobs in restaurants coming during the night, police men, ambulance drivers, policewomen, all sorts of service industries and our colleagues in the 999 services. how many are you hoping to get done here by the time you finish? yes, at the moment we are pretty much on track to get to about 5000. we have got another 1200 booked patients coming between now and 6am and probably another 800 or 1000 walk—ins, so we could even breach that 5000 mark. ok, doctor russell hearn, thank you very much indeed. it is worth saying, we were hearing about long queues at vaccination centres earlier this week, three or four hours in some cases. here, the average waiting time for walkins is between ten or 15 minutes and it is possible
to get it done. it is worth saying also that this is one ofjust many sites, just one of the many sites around the uk that is supplying vaccinations this weekend. 3000 in all, including sports stadiums, racecourses and even christmas markets. plenty of opportunity to get boosted this weekend. the uk's top civil servant has stepped down from leading an inquiry into downing street lockdown parties, after it emerged an event was held in his own office last year. simon case's investigation was supposed to clear up whether rules had been broken — but instead it's another damaging step for the prime minister after a bruising couple of weeks. our political correspondent nick eardley reports. westminster is packed up for christmas, but it is events from this time last year that are continuing to cause controversy. simon case is the man the prime minister asked to look at allegations of rule breaking at parties, but yesterday it emerged that there had been an event at his own private office.
e—mails had invited people to a christmas party, which it emerged yesterday, was a quiz. the cabinet secretary did not attend, but he did speak to staff as he left. last night, it was announced that he would stand back from the enquiry and another top civil servant, sue gray, would complete the probe. it is incredibly hard to believe that no one in government knew that these parties were happening and there is a huge amount of evidence now and i do believe that the investigation that sue gray is going to be leading up, if the evidence is there, they need to carry that investigation out very swiftly to restore the public trust and then hand over that evidence to the police because no one is above the law. it is another damaging episode after a damaging few weeks for the government. from accusations of not taking sleaze seriously, to big rebellions in parliament, to this. cheering and applause. the remarkable result in north shropshire, with the liberal democrats
overturning a 26,000 majority for the conservatives and they think they burst the prime minister's bubble in the process. that is always the signal sent by the public when they feel that things have gone wrong and the answer to that is very simple, it is not more of the same, it is the reality that if we want to get the vote back, then we have to be able to show that we deserve that support. the past few weeks have led to questions over borisjohnson�*s authority and his politicalfuture. many conservatives think things need to change in here if he is going to steady the ship. nick eardley, bbc news, westminster. the british socialite, ghislaine maxwell, who's facing sex trafficking charges in the united states — has told the court she won't be giving evidence. ms maxwell said there was no need to testify because the prosecution had failed to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt. she denies grooming girls for the late convicted paedophile, jeffrey epstein. our correspondent nada tawfik has been outside the courthouse in new york.
the defence has rested its case today, and it comes after ghislaine maxwell decided not to take the stand in her own defence, as she stood up and addressed thejudge, she said that there was no need to testify because the prosecution had not proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. so a very defiant response there from ghislaine maxwell, who has been very involved throughout this whole trial, passing notes to her lawyers during cross—examination of the accusers and others who have testified, stating that she will not tell her side of the story on the stand. of course, that would have been a very risky strategy, opening her up to intense cross—examination by prosecutors, but really this trial is moving incredibly fast. we are now set to have closing statements from
both sides on monday. the defence's case, after initially saying they might call 35 witnesses, they rested after calling nine witnesses and none really revealing too much more to help their case. it seems that the defence is really relying on their cross—examination that happened during the prosecution's case of the key four accusers, hoping that they have shown enough hoping that they have sewn enough doubt injurors minds to avoid a conviction for their client, ghislaine maxwell. at least 33 people have died and many remain missing in the philippines after typhoon rai hit the country on thursday. the storm, which affected the country's southern provinces, packed sustained winds of 195 kilometres per hour and dumped heavy rain triggering flash flooding and landslides. the typhoon has now left the philippines, moving westwards over the south china sea. a man has appeared in court charged with murder and arson after a fire left a person dead in reading.
hakeem kigundu is accused of starting the fire at around 3am on wednesday. the building was so badly damaged by the fire that it is unstable. kigundu was remanded in custody and will appear at reading crown court on tuesday. for nearly three months now we have been telling you about the volcanic eruption taking place on the canary islands. in the last few days the seismic activity appears to have stopped. the clean—up operation will be immense — as thousands of buildings were destroyed. but it's notjust people who were affected — as tim allman reports. the survivors of this volcano come in all shapes and sizes. these cats were found by members of the spanish civil guard. their homes certainly destroyed. and their owners, for now, a mystery. destroyed. and their owners, for now. a mystery-— destroyed. and their owners, for now, a mystery. destroyed. and their owners, for now, a m ste . ~ ., now, a mystery. when we arrived here we found them — now, a mystery. when we arrived here we found them crossing _ now, a mystery. when we arrived here we found them crossing the _ now, a mystery. when we arrived here we found them crossing the lava. - we found them crossing the lava. they approached us and we fed them and gave them water. we have also
been checking if they have a microchip, to find out if they have an owner, so we can return them to them. �* ., , . ., ., them. but not every creature on the island was so _ them. but not every creature on the island was so lucky. _ them. but not every creature on the island was so lucky. the _ them. but not every creature on the island was so lucky. the bodies - them. but not every creature on the island was so lucky. the bodies of. island was so lucky. the bodies of wild animals and birds have been sent away for analysis as to a cause of death, whether it was rivers of red—hot lava engulfing everything in their path or the poisonous gases filling the skies above. all that volcanic magma and rock is cooling now, giant black scars crisscrossing the land. and then there is the ash, so much ash. houses, cars, football pitches buried beyond site. you so much ash. houses, cars, football pitches buried beyond site.- pitches buried beyond site. you can see there are _ pitches buried beyond site. you can see there are roofs _ pitches buried beyond site. you can see there are roofs that _ pitches buried beyond site. you can see there are roofs that have - pitches buried beyond site. you can see there are roofs that have not i see there are roofs that have not been able to support the weight. there are metres of ash.- been able to support the weight. there are metres of ash. some have beuun there are metres of ash. some have be . un the there are metres of ash. some have begun the long _ there are metres of ash. some have begun the long and _ there are metres of ash. some have begun the long and arduous - there are metres of ash. some have begun the long and arduous process| begun the long and arduous process of trying to clear up the mess. but who knows how long that will take. there is hope this volcanic eruption
will be declared officially over before christmas. one life gone, eight still to go. he's the charity fundraiser who is best known for walking through rain, wind and snow, dressed only in a pair of swimming trunks. since may, michael cullen — better known as �*speedo mick�* — has been travelling all over the uk and ireland, raising money for groups that support young people, and those battling mental health issues. and now he's been given a hero's welcome as he finished his epic journey in his home city of liverpool. andy gill was there. and he's back now, in his home city! liverpool greets speedo mick! speedo mick gets a hero's welcome on liverpool's waterfront. the legs that have covered 2,500 miles still with enough energy for a victoryjig. how are you feeling?
tired, really tired, to be honest. ijust wanted to get in today, but obviously the adrenaline is carrying me on. i'm thrilled, i'm thrilled to have finished the walk. how are the legs? very, very tired. they're very heavy. really heavy indeed. i really don't think i would be able to go much further, to be honest, because every single day, my legs were getting more painful, and it wasjust getting harder and harder. what do you think of the welcome down at the pier here? it's fantastic, know what i mean? the city of liverpool, you just get a wonderful reception, whoever you are, coming into the city. this latest walk started in may and took him through ireland, england, scotland and wales. he was giving out money raised in previous walks to mental health and young people's charities, and raising yet more money in the process. we're incredibly proud of speedo mick. he's a legend. if anybody deserves an honour off the queen, it's our speedo mick,
he's a legend. i think he is an absolute inspiration, as a city, we are so proud of him, he represents us so well. christmas will involve family time and lots of cake. he doesn't want to do another walk as long as this one, but... i'm not hanging my knickers up yet, you never know what's going to happen next! this latest swimming trunks trek ending on speedo's birthday. # happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you! andy gill, bbc news, liverpool. in colombia, an ngo is using pedal power to tackle exclusion in society. the campaign called "we take you" ensures that people with disabilities, and the elderly, can enjoy a bike ride round envigado, near the city of medellin. the ngo custom—makes
the bikes to accomodate wheelchairs and walkers, and volunteers accompany the cyclists round the bicycle lanes on a sunday evening. for nearly 30 years lollipop lady betty timbrell has been helping school children to cross the road safely but now she's hanging up her uniform and stick to enjoy retirement — aged 88. our reporter ian white went to west yorkshire to meet her and find out what she'll miss most about herjob. she has been a familiar face for 28 years, now 88 year betty timbrell... right, love, come on. is years, now 88 year betty timbrell. .. right, love, come on.— right, love, come on. is preparing to ut her right, love, come on. is preparing to put her lollipop _ right, love, come on. is preparing to put her lollipop away _ right, love, come on. is preparing to put her lollipop away for - right, love, come on. is preparing to put her lollipop away for the - to put her lollipop away for the last to put her lollipop away for the las. , , ., , to put her lollipop away for the last , to put her lollipop away for the last everybody says i don't look my a . e last everybody says i don't look my ace and i last everybody says i don't look my age and i say _ last everybody says i don't look my age and i say it _ last everybody says i don't look my age and i say it is _ last everybody says i don't look my age and i say it is fresh _
last everybody says i don't look my age and i say it is fresh air, - last everybody says i don't look my age and i say it is fresh air, a - age and i say it is fresh air, a breakfrom the age and i say it is fresh air, a break from the house every day. much loved by children, _ break from the house every day. much loved by children, parents and staff, betty has made many friends over the years. she staff, betty has made many friends over the years— staff, betty has made many friends over the years. she has been a part of these children's _ over the years. she has been a part of these children's lives _ over the years. she has been a part of these children's lives and - over the years. she has been a part of these children's lives and many l of these children's lives and many of these children's lives and many of our— of these children's lives and many of our parent's, many have crossed the road _ of our parent's, many have crossed the road with betty as well, so a sad time — the road with betty as well, so a sad time for us all.— the road with betty as well, so a sad time for us all. stepping out in front of buses, _ sad time for us all. stepping out in front of buses, lorries _ sad time for us all. stepping out in front of buses, lorries and - sad time for us all. stepping out in front of buses, lorries and cars - sad time for us all. stepping out in front of buses, lorries and cars is l front of buses, lorries and cars is not for the faint—hearted. have you ever been run over? not for the faint-hearted. have you ever been run over?— not for the faint-hearted. have you ever been run over? none so far, but it's been need _ ever been run over? none so far, but it's been need it. _ ever been run over? none so far, but it's been need it, because _ ever been run over? none so far, but it's been need it, because if- ever been run over? none so far, but it's been need it, because if i - ever been run over? none so far, but it's been need it, because if i were i it's been need it, because if i were in the middle of the road they'd go outside of me. and now you think they are stopping and then all of a sudden they set off again. children at this primary _ sudden they set off again. children at this primary school _ sudden they set off again. children at this primary school were - sudden they set off again. children | at this primary school were showing children their appreciation today. if they want to cross the road, she always wants to help. she does not want them getting hurt, that is a big thank you. i want them getting hurt, that is a big thank you-—
want them getting hurt, that is a big thank you. i think she has done reall well big thank you. i think she has done really well as _ big thank you. i think she has done really well as a _ big thank you. i think she has done really well as a lollipop _ big thank you. i think she has done really well as a lollipop lady. - big thank you. i think she has done really well as a lollipop lady. i - really well as a lollipop lady. i think— really well as a lollipop lady. i think if— really well as a lollipop lady. i think if she is going a lot of pecule _ think if she is going a lot of people are going to feel sad about that and _ people are going to feel sad about that and i— people are going to feel sad about that and ijust want to say thank you _ that and i 'ust want to say thank ou. �* ., ., ., ., _, you. i'm dreading tomorrow coming, i'm afraid there _ you. i'm dreading tomorrow coming, i'm afraid there might _ you. i'm dreading tomorrow coming, i'm afraid there might be _ you. i'm dreading tomorrow coming, i'm afraid there might be some - you. i'm dreading tomorrow coming, j i'm afraid there might be some tears shed tomorrow.— i'm afraid there might be some tears shed tomorrow. standing here you can see how busy — shed tomorrow. standing here you can see how busy the _ shed tomorrow. standing here you can see how busy the tie _ shed tomorrow. standing here you can see how busy the tie is _ shed tomorrow. standing here you can see how busy the tie is what _ shed tomorrow. standing here you can see how busy the tie is what i - shed tomorrow. standing here you can see how busy the tie is what i need - see how busy the tie is what i need to be over there, so, betty, one last time, would you get me across the road, please? i last time, would you get me across the road, please?— the road, please? iwell, it's a pleasure- _ the road, please? iwell, it's a pleasure. thank _ the road, please? iwell, it's a pleasure. thank you, - the road, please? iwell, it's a pleasure. thank you, darling. | the road, please? i well, it's a - pleasure. thank you, darling. safely across the road, _ pleasure. thank you, darling. safely across the road, we _ pleasure. thank you, darling. safely across the road, we all— pleasure. thank you, darling. safely across the road, we all wish - pleasure. thank you, darling. safely across the road, we all wish betty i pleasure. thank you, darling. safely across the road, we all wish betty a | across the road, we all wish betty a very happy retirement. happy retirement, betty. it's the strictly come dancing final tonight but it's sad news for a] odudu and her partner kai widdrington, who have pulled out of the show. the tv presenter has torn a ligament in her right ankle which means only two couples will compete for the glitterball as david sillito reports. sing, sing, sing by louis prima plays. last week it was a full house
of tens for a] and kai's quickstep. tv presenter aj odudu was on her way to the final. i'm really happy. thank you so much, for all of your votes. i am buzzing! just days later, she posted this picture of herself sitting with crutches and a bandaged foot — an injury picked up during the hours of training. she has now had to admit defeat. she could barely stand, let alone dance. a ligament had been torn. my ankle's given way and my ligament�*s ruptured, and it'sjust not going to happen. i'm really gutted, because we were ready to smash it. this isn't the way that we wanted to go out, obviously, but even just looking back at all of those moments, it has just been an absolute pleasure dancing with you every single week. so, thank you. gold dust by dj fresh plays.
it's been clear since week one that she was going to be a contender for the glitterball trophy. i mean, we'vejust dropped into week nine or something, haven't we? not week one! that was — well, there's not much to say. it was absolutely remarkable! show me heaven by maria mckee plays. by week 12, she was just one point short of a perfect score for her two dances. ten! i literally, i've done everything within my power to be on this dance floor. to the point where even, to the medics this morning, i was like, "so do you think i can dance in a moon boot?" and they were like, "no!" you know wardrobe could glitter that right up! it means the final tonight will be between the two remaining couples. aj odudu offered her best wishes, saying: