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For years Betting has seen to be the domain of the sports fanatic, with horse racing and football leading the way, but with the massive popularity of reality television and a captive audience of millions, the bookmakers have eagerly sought to extend their client base.
In recent years these markets known as Specials Betting or Novelty Betting have grown dramatically. Big Brother Betting with a multitude of different opportunities for a punt throughout the twelve week run of the series was the first real inroad into this type of gambling. With the success of TV’s first reality programming a whole host of other programmes were launched, now with celebrity names attached like I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here which have given the bookmakers a reliable and captive audience throughout the year.
Whether you are a stockbroker looking to gamble on the state of the Irish Economy, a film buff who feels equipped to name the winners of this years’ Oscars, or just a libidinous male looking to prove that Cheryl Cole is the most attractive woman around by gambling on FHM’s list of Sexiest women, there will be something for you.
From September right up until Christmas X Factor takes over Saturday night television and this hugely popular program is also followed very closely by punters playing the odds with the twists and turns of the public voting. Gary Barlow, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Sherzinger joined ever present Louis Walsh as the judges for the latest show.
Big Brother, the Big Daddy of Reality TV is still going despite ailing TV audiences and a switch to Channel 4 from Channel 5. Each summer a group of wannabe celebrities take to the Big Brother house to court favourtism with the viewing public and win a cash prize. The Celebrity version of the competition has also switched to Channel 5 and takes place in the early part of the year.
I'm a Celebrity Get me Out of Here takes place in the Australian outback every year and is exceptionally popular with viewers and punters alike. As well as betting on the winner there's plenty of other markets available, such as next to be evicted, top male and top female and is usually screened in November.
Strictly Come Dancing sees celebrities dance there socks off every Saturday night and again is an increasingly popular betting event. As well as next to leave markets you can bet on the sex of the winner. The show is screened from September to December and Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell are the resident judges.
Hot on the heels of Strictly Come Dancing is ITV's competitior Dancing On Ice. The show puts together celebrities who battle it out on the ice with professional figure skaters. The show is presented by Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley and the judges include Robin Cousins, Katerina Witt and Louis Spence.
The latest show to hit our screens is The Voice on BBC1 which will get underway in March. As the name suggests it's a singing competition not disimilar to the X Factor and will be judged by Jessie J, Will I Am, Tom Jones and Danny O'Donaghue.
Very similar to the X Factor format, Britain's Got Talent is another Simon Cowell vehicle shown on ITV where three judges try to pick out the most talented to perform at the Royal Variety Show. It's a simple format and a throwback to the old fashioned talent show. Filmed around May every year,past winners include an opera singer, dance group and a dog!
As well as entertainment shows, bookmakers also provide odds for the most popular soap operas on television. The ever-changig storylines have proven to be a popular source of betting for punters and you can find the latest odds for Coronation Street, Eastenders and Emmerdale at our dedicated betting pages:
The Sports Personality of the Year awards are handed out just before Christmas and are traditionally an award for the top sportsman in Great Britain. With also awards for top team, top youngster and top overseas sportsman there's plenty of betting options to choose from.
Each year there is the season for both the film awards and music awards, with a chance to bet on The Grammys, The Oscars, The Golden Globes, The Baftas and The Brits to name just a few.
Bookmakers will offer bets on almost everything, from who will be Christmas Number One in the music charts to who will win the General Election too whether or not there will be a white Christmas. As long as there is an event where a result is possible you'll find that the bookmakers have a price on it. Old favourites like Miss World and the Eurovision Song Contest are still rolled out every year and whilst most moan about their very existence still the audience is substantial. Bookmakers cash in on this captive audience and offer the opportunity to have some fun as you watch.
As soon as any Specials tips are available they will appear here.
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