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Sunday, 10 June, 2001, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
BBC 'breaks txt record'
text messaging
The show received more than 500,000 messages
A BBC television-meets-telephone text messaging experiment has been hailed a record-breaking success.

The Joy of Text show, screened on BBC One on Saturday, was the biggest ever mass text exercise receiving more than 500,000 text messages, a spokesman said.

The messages sent to the programme, presented live by Ulrika Jonsson, will now be compiled into a spin-off book.

"Nothing like this mass text has ever happened before and as far as we are aware this will be the fastest book ever 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
The BBC collaborated with mobile phone companies and used new technology to allow such a large number of messages to be received.

The book, which will also be called The Joy of Text, will 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.

Live poll

Viewers of The Joy of Text show took part in a live poll on the use of text messaging.

It indicated that 66% of people use text messages to avoid talking, 52% to apologise, 48% to gossip, 37% to flirt, 37% to say: "I luv u", 34% to lie, 20% to ask for a date, and 6% to end a relationship.

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

Ulrika Jonsson
Ulrika 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.

See also:

08 Jun 01 | New Media
BBC aims for txt record
21 Feb 01 | UK Politics
'Hate' e-mails to be outlawed
14 Feb 01 | UK
WUBMV? messages set 2 soar
18 Dec 00 | Sci/Tech
Living life by txt msg
27 Dec 00 | Health
Text messages make quitting EZ
31 Oct 00 | Scotland
Text message obscenity man fined
05 Jun 01 | Features
Will txt msgs get a result?
04 Jun 01 | Education
Text messages in war against truancy
30 May 01 | Online 1000
Voters 'disillusioned'
24 May 01 | Health
Text message warning
29 Mar 01 | New Media
Phone poetry contest launched
04 Apr 01 | New Media
Bridget Jones fans set to txt
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