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Red hair test becomes reality

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Hoping for flame-haired offspring? An instant test that shows couples whether they will have red-haired babies is on offer in London.

A Who Do You Think You Are exhibition being held in the capital next month will offer to test couple's genes through a simple saliva swab.

Dr Jim Wilson, chief scientist at BritainsDNA, told The Telegraph: "Families can carry a variant for generations, and when one carrier has children with another carrier, a red-headed baby can appear seemingly out of nowhere."

Famous Hollywood redhead Nicole Kidman's mane has endured many a style evolution, but she usually always sticks to a titian colour

Worldwide, around one in 200 people are redheads, with the UK and Ireland having a higher concentration of fiery locks than in the rest of Europe, where only 1.3 per cent of people are red-headed.

The redhead gene variant is present in about four in 10 people, regardless of their hair colour, explaining why some couples have babies with ginger hair when neither parent are redheads.

Scientists seemingly can't get enough of the red hair phenomenon, with recent studies linking the colouring to heightened feelings of pain and even claiming cloudy weather is behind the UK's high redhead count.

Who's your favourite redhead of all time? Tell us below or on Twitter

Words: Anna Pollitt. Images: Rex Features

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