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Jamie Oliver boosts 'Super Thursday'

28th September 2012

In a year when the publishing industry seems undecided about when 'Super Thursday' is taking place, yesterday laid perhaps the strongest claim to the title, with the publication of the bookmakers' favourite for the coveted Christmas number one spot, Jamie Oliver's 15-Minute Meals.

After his 30-Minute Meals broke sales records, with 1.2 million copies bought, the Essex chef will be hoping to once again top the charts with a cookbook containing meals that are even easier to prepare.

Oliver has topped the seasonal bestseller list four times in the last ten years, including in 2011, when Jamie's Great Britain sold 319,217 copies in the run-up to December 25th, ensuring it edged out Guinness World Records 2012 to the top spot.

Based on this track record and the public's appetite for Oliver's cookbooks, William Hill has made 15-Minute Meals the 1/3 favourite to claim the Christmas number one spot.

The second favourite is another book published yesterday, J. K. Rowling's eagerly awaited first adult novel The Casual Vacancy, which received more than one million pre-orders.

However, the bookmaker believes the initial popularity of the Harry Potter author's new book means interest is likely to die down by December, with the title installed at 3/1, comfortably behind Oliver's work in the betting.

The proverbial dark horse in the running for the festive top spot could be Philip Pullman's Grimm Tales: For Young and Old, also published yesterday, in which the author retells the classic fairytales from his own perspective, offering a brief commentary on each. It stands at 12/1.

The Christmas number one will be determined by the book that sells the most copies in the last full retail week before December 25th.

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