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Bookies encourage Xmas number two betting

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William Hill is encouraging punters to bet on who will reach this year's Christmas number two spot.

The bookmaker believes that the success of X Factor winners at Christmas is taking the fun out of the festive chart battle, so members of the public can now place bets on second place.

A William Hill spokesman explained: "The annual X Factor single has wiped out a national institution. There's little real competition for the top single on Christmas Day, so we've opened a book to open the race up again."

Classical boy band Blake are currently 3/1 favourites to reach number two with their cover of Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas'.

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