BRITAIN’S Got Talent judge Amanda Holden is said to be “devastated” that Stourbridge salsa gran Paddy Jones has had to bow out of the TV talent show after cracking her ribs.

The 79-year-old, who used to run Pady’s Fabrics in Victoria Passage, sustained an injury to her ribs while practising her semi-final routine in Spain with dance partner Nicko Espinosa - who is 40 years her junior – forcing the pair to pull out of Saturday’s live semi.

A spokesman for the show said: “We're sad to say that after seeking medical advice, Paddy will not be able to perform in the semi-final. Unfortunately because of this Paddy and Nicko have had to withdraw from the competition.”

The dynamic duo, who formed their unlikely dance partnership around ten years ago after Paddy lost her husband to cancer, had won a guaranteed a place in the semi finals after judge Amanda Holden buzzed them straight through to the penultimate round of the ITV talent contest by pressing her golden buzzer.

But a spokesman for the show said given Paddy’s age and the nature of the injury “there isn’t any way she will be able to perform”.

TV star Amanda said: “I'm devastated that Paddy and Nicko won't be dancing in the semi-finals. Ever since I first saw Paddy dance I fell in love with her. She epitomises everything which Britain's Got Talent is about, she is a sheer joy to watch and an inspiration.

“Her audition was breathtaking and that's why I pressed my golden buzzer. I was so looking forward to her and Nicko wowing us with another amazing routine in the semi-finals and I really think she could have won the whole show. The most important thing though is that she makes a speedy recovery and gets back to living life to the full.”

Show bosses say they wondered whether Paddy might be able to do a “scaled down, less energetic version of her routine” but they concluded: “Obviously Paddy’s health and welfare had to come first so sadly it just won’t be possible for her to perform.”