Royal baby brings punters into bookies

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having their first child, Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley returning to the BBC together and Ashley and Cheryl Cole remarrying are just some of the novelty bets that Ladbrokes are taking for the new year.

The odds for the Duchess of Cambridge to produce an heir are 2/1, while a punt on whether her sister, Pippa Middleton, will get engaged in 2012 is 5/1.

After being axed by ITV’s Daybreak, the odds for Chiles and Bleakley returning to a BBC show together are 10/1, while it’s even money that the first cast member of ITV’s The Only Way Is Essex will announce a pregnancy.

A Ladbrokes spokeswoman said: “Novelty bets have been incredibly popular this year. It looks like punters will be hoping for a haul of marriages, babies and break-ups.”