Happy New Year! 'The best fireworks London has ever seen' as UK marks start of 2020

Connor Sephton, news reporter

The UK has welcomed 2020 in style - with huge firework displays heralding the start of a new decade.

Champagne corks were popping across the country, with hundreds of thousands of jubilant revellers gathering for parties in cities including London, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

Big Ben's chimes started to sound as the clock struck midnight in the capital - marking the beginning of an extravagant pyrotechnics show boasting more than 12,000 fireworks.

About 2,000 were fired from the London Eye, and the rest came from barges moored in a central location along the River Thames.

The display was set to a soundtrack with an unmistakably London theme, as it featured local artists including Stormzy, Wiley and Bastille.

Football also featured dominantly in the show - with nostalgic songs such as Football's Coming Home played to celebrate London's role in hosting several key games during the Euro 2020 tournament.

Unlike previous tournaments, games are going to take place in countries across the continent - and the capital is going to host more fixtures than any other city, with the final and semi-finals set to take place at Wembley Stadium.

More than 100,000 revellers managed to get tickets to watch the fireworks on the banks of the River Thames, and, as in previous years, the event sold out.

As 12am approached, Mayor Sadiq Khan promised to deliver "the best fireworks London has ever seen" - and he expressed hope the display would cement London's reputation as a "global city".

He added: "Yes, we may be leaving the EU, but very much as a city we are still a European global city. We will continue to be open to people's trade and ideas.

"What tonight's fireworks are about is demonstrating our confidence. And it's really important that we show the world who will be watching our fireworks that we are a confident, global, outward-looking European city."

Sky's Enda Brady, who was rubbing shoulders with partygoers in central London, described the atmosphere as "absolutely brilliant".

Throughout the night, he met tourists from Guatemala, South Korea, China, Spain and Ukraine who were lucky enough to get a ticket - one woman who was on her very first visit to London said she was planning to "party like a rockstar".

Of course, London wasn't alone in making a fuss about 2020. The world-famous Hogmanay celebrations - now in their 27th year - have been in full swing in Edinburgh, featuring a star-studded list of live acts including Rudimental, Idlewild and Mark Ronson across several stages.

As midnight arrived, a soundtrack especially choreographed by Ronson complemented the fireworks display over Edinburgh Castle, with the musician saying: "New Year's Eve is a good time for DJs."

Naturally, revellers also got the chance to sing Auld Lang Syne on the streets of the Scottish capital.

Sky's James Matthews said a crowd of about 75,000 people were crammed into Edinburgh's Princes Street for the eight-minute show boasting 3,600 fireworks weighing 3.3 tonnes.

One man said he had travelled 8,000 miles from the Falkland Islands so he could soak in the atmosphere - and thankfully, conditions were perfect, with no wind or rain to dampen proceedings.

Another, who had flown from the US, said visiting Edinburgh for Hogmanay had been on her bucket list ever since she had gotten married.

There had been a little criticism of how Hogmanay was organised this year amid uncertainty surrounding how many passes that residents were allowed.