In pictures: Paddy Power launches prosthetic presidents in London

Betting platform Paddy Power celebrated the launch of a new Cheltenham-Political betting market with a stunt featuring actors posing as Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.

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The actors - Karl Greenwood and Doug Devaney - donned prosthetic make-up to transform themselves into the two controversial political figures, and arrived in London yesterday (14 March) to promote the launch of a new Cheltenham-Political betting market ahead of the annual racing festival. 

In an effort to recreate the notorious photos of Vladimir Putin, the actor portraying the Russian President was placed shirtless on horse-back as he paraded through the streets of London. Donald Trump walked alongside in a suit, but did join Putin on the horse and pose shirtless for photos. Greenwood and Devaney spent more than six hours being made up with prosthetics by a team of Hollywood special effect artists before fully morphing into the political figures.

To mark the occasion, Paddy Power is offering punters who know their horses from their executive orders the chance to bet on Cheltenham-Politics specials including; Willie Mullins to be Top Trainer and Trump to serve a 2nd Term (7/2), Ruby Walsh to be Top Jockey and Trump to be impeached in 2017 (8/1), and Neon Wolf to win the Novices Hurdle and Sean Spicer to be sacked in 2017 (20/1).

A spokesperson from Paddy Power said: "Toffs, rowdy footballers, and now world leaders – horse racing gets all sorts excited. With political punting at an all-time high, Vlad and The Donald seemed more than happy to swap nukes for nags ahead of Cheltenham. We’ve seen a huge surge in political bets since Trump took office and with a big week of horseracing ahead it made perfect sense to offer punters the chance to bet on both."

The Putin and Trump impersonators visited Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square, while stopping for selfies with tourists. 

Also this week, bookmaker William Hill created a series of window takeovers in its betting shops nationwide, ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. Ahead of the US presidential elections last year, NBC News recreated New York's Rockefeller Center Plaza in virtual reality with a programme of debates.

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