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Weller suddenly favourite to win Mercury

By | Published on Tuesday 7 September 2010

So, this is interesting. Tonight the Mercury Music Prize will be presented, and this morning is very quiet news-wise. We tried finding a music angle on the tube strike, but Justin Bieber’s got a Segway so is unlikely to be affected. So, we’re leading with some speculation as to who might win the Mercury. This despite the fact I’m finding it really hard to care this year. I don’t know why. I tried to muster up some enthusiasm for the whole thing before writing this story but got distracted by a desire to rearrange the pen pots on my desk.

Anyway, the dude that is Paul Weller is now favourite to win this year’s Random Music Prize gong, according to William Hill, following a surge in the number of bets being placed on indie rock’s favourite old man in the last few days. He was a 20/1 outsider, but as of yesterday William Hill make him the 1/10 favourite. He won’t win.

According to William Hill, Weller’s climb up the Mercury favourites list is the “biggest turnaround in music betting for the last 40 years”. Spokesman Rupert Adams told The Guardian that the company received hundreds of bets for Weller in the space of just 90 minutes, particularly in the Birmingham area. And as we all know, when it comes to predicting what random decision a small group of music pundits will make after a round of drinks, the punters of the West Midlands are always on it.

Adam added: “In no way are we suggesting that this surge in bets reflects anything untoward in the Mercury camp. The change in odds is not a comment on the integrity of the judges. Our feeling is a consensus has built that Weller is likely to be handed the award because it could well be his last chance to win it”.

Previously The xx were favourites to win the Prize, with Wild Beasts and Dizzee Rascal frequently in second place. As we go to press, the favourites list is as below. The Prize will be presented to Foals tonight at a televised ceremony in London.

Paul Weller 1/10
The xx 7/4
Wild Beasts 5/1
Laura Marling 7/1
Mumford & Sons 8/1
I Am Kloot 10/1
Villagers 12/1
Foals 16/1
Biffy Clyro 16/1
Corinne Bailey Rae 25/1
Dizzee Rascal 33/1
Kit Downes Trio 33/1