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htThe BBC's Kim Barnes reports
"Texting even has its own language"
 real 56k

Friday, 8 June, 2001, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
BBC aims for txt record
text messaging
A luxury holiday will be won in a texting quiz
A BBC show aims to set a new world record for the fastest-written book ever in a television-meets-telephone text messaging experiment.

A programme called The Joy of Text, presented live by Ulrika Jonsson, is to be screened on BBC One and will invite viewers to take part in a mass text message exercise.

The messages received with then be compiled into a spin-off book.

"In just a matter of seconds the manuscript for the book will be written," said a spokeswoman for the publisher, Transworld.

Not only will this book be the fastest ever written, it also has several million potential authors

Doug Young

"Nothing like this mass text has ever happened before and as far as we are aware this will be the fastest book ever written."

The BBC will collaborate with mobile phone companies and use new technology to allow such a large number of messages to be received.

The book will be called The Joy of Text and is to be edited by Doug Young who created the fastest published book - 100 Recipes In no Time At All.

That book was produced in 48 hours for the Challenge Anneka TV Show.


"Not only will this book be the fastest ever written, it also has several million potential authors, though only a thousand or so will make it through the selection process," said Young.

Text messages have been put to a range of different uses in the last 12 months.

Ulrika Jonsson
Jonsson recently presented Dog Eat Dog on BBC One
The Guardian newspaper ran a text message poetry competition and Bridget Jones fans can get daily messages from their heroine.

A text message sent from Bali to England helped save 14 tourists stranded in a boat, while smokers hoping to quit can be sent messages encouraging them to fight the nicotine cravings.

Last year at the Edinburgh fringe festival theatre goers could follow a play via messages on their phone and earlier this year MTV UK launched a service to allow viewers to choose videos via messages on their phones.

But text messages have also fallen foul of the law.

A farm worker in Scotland was fined 100 for sending obscene mobile phone text messages to a man he accused of wrecking his marriage.

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