STOURBRIDGE'S salsa gran Paddy Jones was this week gearing up for the performance of her life - having battled through injury to win a place in this Saturday's Britain's Got Talent final.
The plucky pensioner, who used to run Paddy's Fabrics in Victoria Passage, was voted through to the live TV final against the odds - having injured her ribs while rehearsing in Spain with dance partner Nicko Espinosa.
Paddy, aged 79, and Nicko, who is 40 years her junior, barely had time to rehearse as they only decided the day before last Saturday's semi-final to go ahead with their appearance - but such was their popularity they beat the remaining acts, including popular teen singer Bailey McConnell, to win a place along with Jack Pack and a host of other talented acts in the June 7 final at Wembley.
Pint-sized Paddy, who took up salsa dancing after losing her husband David to leukaemia, said yesterday (Wednesday) she couldn't believe she was in the final, adding: "I was just happy to do something to repay everybody that has supported us."
The great-gran-of-seven said she and Nicko, who runs a dance academy in Gandia, Spain, will now be giving it all they've got in the final in the hope of scooping the chance to dance at the Royal Variety Show.
She added: "I'm such a Royalist and Nicko is too; it would be absolutely wonderful to perform in front of the Royal family. It would be the icing on the cake."
Their Britain's Got Talent mentor and judge Amanda Holden, who buzzed the pair straight through to the semi-final after being wowed by their audition performance, believes they have what it takes to be crowned overall winners of the show and she said their act was "something the Royal family would just adore on the Royal Variety Show".
Paddy and Nicko, who have been regulars at salsa congresses around the world since putting together their novelty dance partnership around ten years ago, won the Spanish version of Britain's Got Talent 'Tu Si Que Vales' in 2009 and they were also contestants on Argentina's version of Strictly Come Dancing 'Showmatch' in 2010.
As well as big band singers Jack Pack - the pair will join Collabro, Darcy Oake, The Addict Initiative, James Smith, Lucy Kay, Yanis Marshall, Arnaud and Mehdi, Bars and Melody, Lettice Rowbotham and wildcard act Jon Clegg in the final which will start at 7pm on Saturday May 7.
Details on how to vote for Paddy and Nicko to win will be given out during the show. Voting numbers will also be available on www.itv.com/britainsgottalent