WITH the end of 2021 now just hours away, it's time to look back and reflect on just how weird the past 12 months have been.

We entered 2021 with a spirit of optimism and the sense of a brand new start after the global misery covid piled upon us in 2020.

But for so many 2021 wasn't actually all that different to 2020, with lockdown restrictions, time spent away from friends and family, and constant covid cautiousness continuing to dominate the way we live our lives.

This time, however, it genuinely feels different thanks to the vaccines keeping covid deaths low and 2022 really does feel like it could be the year we finally crawl out from under the shadow of coronavirus.

So to celebrate we'll be bringing you live updates from celebrations around the world, from fireworks in Sydney and Beijing, to parties in London, New York, Rio de Janeiro and everyone in between.

And we'll also be bringing you news you can use too; including the very latest opening times at all your favourite shops and supermarkets and the best things to watch on TV on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Read our New Year live blog below to follow all the latest action…

  • Milica Cosic

    Gordon Ramsay’s shocking New Year’s Eve dinner menu

    GORDON Ramsay is charging punters £345 a head for a New Year’s Eve at his Michelin-starred Petrus restaurant in South West London

    Dinner includes pigeon as a main course – without booze included.

    His seven-course menu for December 31 at the posh eatery is £300 a pop.

    It includes an automatic 15 per cent service charge, which would bring the price to £345 for a solo diner.

    But the biggest bill for those tucking in at Petrus will be the booze – as its wine list includes bottles of wines costing thousands of pounds each.

    One critic sneered on social media: “Where’s the rest of it?”, while another added: “Seriously thought this was a post from a 'tiny foods' account I follow at first."

  • Milica Cosic

    New Year’s asteroid to whizz by Earth

    An asteroid that is larger than Big Ben is set to whizz by Earth.

    The massive rock has been named 2013 YD48 by NASA who branded it a “potentially hazardous object”.

    The asteroid is set to pass within 3.48million miles of Earth on January 11 – a relatively close call in astronomical terms.

    It is approximately 340ft (104m) wide which makes it bigger than Big Ben.

  • Milica Cosic

    New Zealand's light show

    A light show was projected from the Skytower and harbour bridge during Auckland New Year's Eve celebrations on December 31, 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand.

    The light show was named 'Auckland Is Calling', replacing the normal fireworks due to government COVID-19 restrictions.

    It signifies a welcome to visitors from New Zealand and eventually the world to the region.

    NINTCHDBPICT000702726199Credit: Getty
  • Milica Cosic

    Jools Holland’s show

    As well as BBC One's annual show, Jools Holland will be hosting his Hootenanny over on BBC Two.

    You will be able to watch it from 11.25pm, and his show will have its own countdown to the New Year.

  • Milica Cosic

    New Zealand to celebrate any minute now

    There are minutes to go until New Zealand enters 2022!

    However, they are not the first country to see the New Year in first, as parts of Kiribati, including the Line Islands and Kiritimati, ring it in first.

  • Milica Cosic

    How to watch New Year's Eve countdown on TV

    The famous New Years Eve firework display which usually takes place in London is cancelled for the second year running.

    However the BBC will host a TV event, and you’ll be able to watch it live.

    You can watch the New Year Eve 2021 countdown on BBC One. The broadcaster has a special programme in the build-up to entering the New Year.

    Olly Alexander will be hosting a New Years Eve show and will be performing some of his own songs along with special guests like Kylie Mingoue.

    Just before midnight, it will cut across to London for the countdown which will be followed by what is described as a "new broadcast spectacular" by VisitLondon.

    It will look back at the defining moments of 2021 as part of that.

  • Milica Cosic

    Coronation Street schedule chaos

    Corrie fans are in uproar this week as the soap schedules have been changed again.

    The ITV soap will not air in its usual 7.30pm and 8.30pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday slots because of The Voice Kids.

    Instead it will air Wednesday’s episodes tonight (Tuesday) at 9pm on ITV.

    Fans will then have to wait until Friday to see a new episode.

    Then the soap will air another hour-long special on New Year’s Eve.

    However unlike in past years, there will be no New Year’s Day episode of Coronation Street.

    In fact there will be no soaps airing on the day at all.

  • Milica Cosic

    How to stay warm when outside

    If you’re planning to be out for New Year’s tonight, you’ll want to wrap up warm as you will have a long night ahead of you.

    Here are some good tips for staying warm:

    • Prewarm your clothes.
    • Invest in some quality thermals.
    • Fleece leggings.
    • Hand warmers.
    • Cover every inch of skin.
    • Eat fatty foods.
    • Thermal flask.
    • Keep moving.
    • Keep hydrated.
    • Keep your head covered.
    • Tactical scarf-wearing – including keeping your nose and mouth covered

    Lottery draw on tonight

    Tonight’s a very special night, and not only because it marks the end of 2021.

    You have the EuroMillions to play for with a whopping £14M to be won.

    Alongside that, there will also be 10 guaranteed UK Millionaire Maker winners of £1,000,000.

    So what are you waiting for… go get your tickets!

    Always remember to play responsibly, and when the fun stops – stop.

    • Milica Cosic

      New Year’s joy

      ALL Brits have now been offered the chance to book in for their Omicron-beating Covid booster.

      The NHS and Government have hit the ambitious target to send out all invites by New Year’s Eve.

      In just one month everyone eligible for a top up shot – vital to gain protection from the variant – has been contacted.

      More than 28.1 million people in England – more than 7 in 10 of eligible adults – have now had their booster.

      This includes around 90 per cent of those aged 50 and over who are eligible.

    • Milica Cosic

      What are Asda’s opening hours over New Year?

      For New Year’s Day, it will operate Sunday hours where you can shop from 10am to 5pm.

      Hours will resume back to normal from January 4 where it will be from 8am to 10pm.

      For your local stores' opening times, you can look them up by using the Asda store finder.

    • Milica Cosic

      When will Morrisons be open over New Year?

      On New Year’s Eve, it will reduce its hours from 7am to 6pm, and on New Year’s Day stores will be open from 9am to 6pm. 

      Customers can expect their local stores to resume normal shop hours from January 3 where it will 7am to 10pm. 

      But first check your local branch to find out before you make the trip.

    • Milica Cosic

      When will M&S be open on New Year’s Eve?

      On New Year’s Eve, it will be open from 8am to 8pm and on New Year’s Day, it will reduce its hours to 10am to 6pm.

      From January 3, M&S goes back to its normal hours when it will open at 8am to 10pm. 

      Check your local stores festive hours before you make the trip.

    • Milica Cosic

      What are Aldi's opening hours over New Year?

      From December 27 it started opening slightly later at 8am and close at an earlier of 8pm.

      These reducing trading times are set to run up until New Year’s Eve.

      Aldi will be closed on New Year’s Eve and will reopen on January 2 from 9:30am to 4pm, and January 4 from 8am to 8pm.

    • Milica Cosic

      Today’s weather forecast

      It will be a dull and damp day with cloudy skies and outbreaks of rain which will track northwards and eastwards during the morning.

      Rain will be heavy at times before easing and turning increasingly light during the afternoon.

      Cloud will break and some spells of sunshine will develop too.

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