UK

New Year celebrations: UK welcomes in 2019

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Media captionLondon counts down to new year fireworks

The UK has welcomed in 2019 with a flurry of new year fireworks.

In London, Big Ben's customary bongs marked midnight, cheered on by an estimated gathering of 100,000 people.

The words "London is open" were spoken in seven languages during the display, which London mayor Sadiq Khan said sent a message that its EU citizens were Londoners and would always be welcome.

In Edinburgh, the city's street party was a 60,000 sell-out, with Franz Ferdinand the headline musical act.

Cardiff saw crowds gather in the city's Winter Wonderland outside the Civic Centre for fireworks and music, while in Belfast, City Hall was illuminated in a raft of colours for the event.

In central London, the soundtrack to the midnight show, which celebrated the capital's links with Europe, featured musical artists from the continent.

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Image caption Tickets to London's fireworks display sold out in advance
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Image caption Songs by artists including Dua Lipa, Rita Ora, U2 and Coldplay accompanied the display

We Are Your Friends, Stay and Don't Leave Me Alone were some of the songs played during the 11-minute soundtrack.

"London is open" was spoken around two minutes into the display in Spanish, Polish, French, Romanian, German, Italian and then in English by the capital's mayor.

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Image caption Big Ben's traditional bongs welcomed in the new year
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Image caption About 70,000 fireworks were set off from three barges and the London Eye
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Image caption Revellers head home from central London following the fireworks display

BBC One's New Year's Eve concert at Central Hall Westminster - either side of the fireworks - featured ska-pop legends Madness and was presented by this year's Strictly Come Dancing champion Stacey Dooley and finalist Joe Sugg.

Joe's Strictly partner Dianne Buswell joined him at the event, delighting fans of the show.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay event also focused on Europe, celebrating Scotland's ties with the rest of the continent.

One of the globe's largest street parties kicked off with pipe, drum and dance bands leading the annual Torchlight Procession through Edinburgh.

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Image caption More than 160,000 people were expected to descend on Scotland's capital over three days of celebrations
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Image caption Fireworks provided a spectacular backdrop to the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh
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Image caption Members of of the public took part in a torchlight procession along the Royal Mile during Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations

Aberdeen, Inverness and Stirling were among the other places throwing big New Year shindigs in Scotland.

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Image caption Fireworks light up the ice rink in Nottingham's Old Market Square
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Image caption Some people took to Southwold Beach in Suffolk to see in 2019

Meanwhile, cities around the world had already enjoyed sparkling events for the start of 2019.

Islands in the Pacific were the first to mark the occasion, ahead of New Zealand and then Australia - where a massive fireworks display lit up Sydney Harbour Bridge for spectators on boats.

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Media captionRevellers around the world welcome in 2019 with fireworks

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