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Wednesday, 7 March, 2001, 15:44 GMT
Hunt 'ruled out' of EastEnders shooting
The dramatic moment
The fate of Phil Mitchell is not yet known
Bookmakers have decided to re-open the book on who shot Phil Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders.

Earlier this week William Hill stopped taking bets, following a flurry of wagers on actor Gareth Hunt playing the killer.

Gareth Hunt
Did Gareth Hunt pull the trigger?
The bookmakers were suspicious about the bets because Hunt has yet to appear in the soap.

But a spokeswoman for William Hill told BBC News Online that information from unofficial BBC sources had convinced them that Mr Hunt's character is not the killer.

The new favourite to have pulled the trigger on the dodgy car mechanic is ex-girlfriend Lisa Shaw, with odds of 4/5.

Dan Sullivan, who returned to the soap on the eve of the shooting, is the second favourite with odds of 2/1.

EastEnders odds
Lisa Shaw 4/5
Dan Sullivan 2/1
Gareth Hunt 10/3
Mark Fowler 4/1
Steve Owen 6/1
Ian Beale 10/1
Grant Mitchell 12/1
Jim Branning 40/1
Kathy Beale 66/1

Former Avengers actor Gareth Hunt has now dropped to third favourite with odds of 10/3.

The spokeswoman said: "Sources have told us that Gareth Hunt will be associated with a hit man, but he did not shoot Phil Mitchell."

'People in the know'

The book was closed when one man placed a bet of 500 on Gareth Hunt.

But William Hill now feel sure enough to re-open the betting.

However, bets on the identity of the killer are limited to 25 per person.

"There are some people in the know so we have to be cautious," the spokeswoman added.

Phil Mitchell's former wife, Kathy Beale, is the long shot to be unmasked as the killer, with odds of 66/1.

Viewers will have to wait until early April to find out the identity of the killer.

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See also:

06 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Betting flurry on EastEnders killing
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