Billions of people around the world have ushered in 2007, but celebrations in Britain were hit hard by appalling weather.

Northerly areas were the worst affected by severe gales and heavy rain causing Edinburgh's hugely famous Hogmanay party to be cancelled.

Thousands of revellers were disappointed that the outdoor celebrations were called off and performances by singer Paolo Nuttini, indie band The Fratellis and electo-pop icons The Pet Shop Boys were cancelled.

Liverpool was forced to cancel its planned fireworks display and outdoor festivities in Newcastle, Glasgow and Belfast were also called off. Partygoers in Belfast were expecting to see soul diva Beverly Knight sing in 2007 but the concert was rained off.

Celebrations in London went on as planned however with the capital escaping much of the bad weather. It is believed that more than 350,000 people fought to get a good view of the spectacular fireworks and pyrotechnics display, centred on the London Eye on the South Bank.

Emergency 999 calls normally see an increase on New Year's Eve as the police and ambulance services deal with hundreds of alcohol-related incidents and injuries.

2006 was no exception with the Metropolitan police reporting 50 arrests in the capital and an increase on last year for calls to London's ambulance service.

New Year's Day celebrations planned for today will go ahead as planned with the majority of the bad weather gone. The annual London parade will take place as usual and DJ Fatboy Slim, real name Norman Cook, will play a special show on Brighton beach for residents of the seaside town.

01/01/2007 13:06:53