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William Hill refund Eastenders bets on Derek Manning’s death

December 26th, 2012 / lee
William Hill

The Christmas day drama over the expected murder happening in the BBC’s soap opera Eastenders, didn’t quite pan out as many had expected. Online bookmaker William Hill have decided to refund bets on how killed Derek Branning, after the big Christmas episode revealed that Manning’s demise came about as a heart attack rather than murder, as everyone had been expecting. So the big twist was that no one actually killed Derek Branning, so while Britain’s biggest bookmaker starts to redress punters with refunds, some punters did come out winners.

William Hill did pay out on bets of Derek Manning killing himself, which was quoted at a long 33/1 shot back in October, but come December 25th, the option had been trimmed into a smaller price of 5/2. Manning’s brother Max had been the main suspect that punters had gotten behind, but it turned out to be nothing more than natural causes.

A spokesman for William Hill, Joe Crilly, said: “Derek had enough enemies to justify his murder but it seemed that nature did everyone a favor. Years of tough living took their toll and so we paid out on him and refunded on everyone else.”

WIlliam Hill are already accepting bets for next year’s Christmas Day episode of Eastenders, where the betting site is offering odds of 10/1 that someone will meet an untimely death. Eastenders topped the Christmas rating s this year, becoming the most watched Christmas Day broadcast for the fourth year in a row.

All viewing numbers were down this year on Christmas Day this year, with Coronation Street taking the runner up spot ahead of Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife episodes. Eastenders took an average of 9.37 million viewers in the hour, with a peak of 9.8 million when the villain Manning suffered his heart attack. Coronation Street’s big drama of Leanne Battersby ditching fiance Nick Tilsley on their wedding day took an average of 8.58 million viewers.

The BBC’s Call the Midwife took in around 7.27 million viewers, which was topped by Doctor Who, strictly Come Dancing and the Royle Family episodes. ITV’s Downton Abbey performed well, fetching 6.83 million viewers on average for their two hour Christmas day special. Overall it was a big coup for the BBC, who outperformed ITV in the primetime slot, with Challenge Four taking third place and BBC fourth. BBC Three edged out Channel Five as well to finish fifth.

The staple diet of Christmas Day television in the UK, the Queen’s Speech took a hefty 8.3 million viewers for the BBC’s 3pm broadcast.

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