Katy Perry and Russell Brand
Katy Perry and Russell Brand split up at the beginning of the year. Their divorce was granted by a judge on Wednesday. PA

Wagers who predicted the split of singer Katy Perry and British comedian Russell Brand would be paid by the UK bookmaker, William Hill, it has been reported.

Though the couple's split was confirmed two days before the New Year by Russell Brand, bookies would be rewarded considering the huge interest generated in the bet, according to William Hill.

"William Hill can confirm that they will be paying out on Russell Brand and Katy Perry being the first celebrity couple to split in 2012 despite the timing just before the New Year," celebrity tracker Digital Spy has quoted the bookmaker as saying.

Now, Elizabeth Hurley and Shane Warne have become the bookies' favourite to split in 2012 after the confirmation of the Perry-Brand divorce.

Rumours of a Perry-Brand split were doing the rounds as early as October 2011, and have become almost a certainty as the couple was seen spending the Christmas separately. Perry was photographed surfing the Hawaiian beach without the wedding ring and Brand was seen spending time with his friends in Cornwall, England.

Russell Brand applied for divorce last Friday in Los Angeles citing "irreconcilable differences" and according to media reports, he did it at the insistence of Katy Perry in an attempt to avoid embarrassment to her orthodox parents.

Katy Perry was reportedly upset with the whole incident and is spending time with her best friend Rihanna to get over the shaky period in her life, the Sun has reported.

US pop singer Katy Perry and British comedy actor Russell Brand got married in India on October, 2010 in an extravagant ceremony.

Other hot bets on celebrity splits apart from Liz-Shane in 2012 are Alex Reid and Chantelle, Jason Orange and Catherine Tate and Vernon Kay and Tess Daly.

Beyonce and Jay Z, Wayne and Coleen Rooney, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow, David Beckham, Prince William and Kate Middleton are the other celebrities who are the favourites of bookies at William Hills according to Digital Spy.

Lindsay Lohan is also 11/10 favourite as the first celebrity to be arrested in 2012.

Digital Spy is one of the UK's independent entertainment websites with focus on news and entertainment features in showbiz, movies and music.