SIMON Cowell praised the courage of Stourbridge salsa gran who gritted her teeth through a rib injury to perform in tonight's Britain's Got Talent semi-final.
The TV judge told plucky 79-year-old grandmother Paddy Jones he believes the British public will support her through to the final of the TV talent show - after she and dance partner Nico Espinosa performed a scaled down version of their planned dynamic salsa routine.
The pair only decided to go ahead with their appearance late yesterday (Friday) having been forced to quit the show just two days earlier after Paddy cracked her ribs while rehearsing with Nico in Spain.
Doctors initially said "no acrobatics for at least a month" and she had been planning to just watch the semi-final in the audience - but on returning to England and following another medical check up she decided the show must go on.
Judge Amanda Holden, who pressed her golden buzzer in the auditions to guarantee the pair a place in the semi, said it was "utterly incredible" they had put together their routine overnight and she said: "I'm so proud of you. You are the epitome of Great Britain and something the Royal Family would just adore on the Royal Variety Show."
While David Walliams said Paddy and Nico would be "worthy winners of the entire competition".
To vote them through to the final call 09020 44 24 08 from a landline or 6 44 24 08 from a mobile. Calls from mobiles and BT landlines cost 50p (other landlines may vary) and 15pm from each vote goes to the Royal Variety Charity. The results will be announced in tonight's follow-up show starting at 9.30pm on ITV1.