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Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
Soap writers to advise on text drama
Children using mobile phones
Plots will include topics like exams, careers and homework
A soap opera called The Buzz is to be delivered by text message and given storyline advice from scriptwriters from EastEnders, The Bill and Casualty.

It is a weekly drama being launched by Derbyshire County Council for its network of 54,000 child mobile users.

The story of two Derbyshire teenagers, developed by TV scriptwriters and local schoolchildren, will be presented in a soap-style format.

The messages will be delivered out of school hours, free, to members of the council's "b-line" discount scheme for 11 to 18-year-olds.

Mobile phone
79% of teenagers own mobile phones
London-based Julie Dixon, former head of scripts at EastEnders and a freelance writer for The Bill and Casualty is advising on the soap, along with locally-based Robin Ellis, who also writes for The Bill.

They will work with ideas generated by a group of students from Belper School in the county.

The students will choose relevant topics to be featured in the plot, such as exams, careers and homework.

They will also create biographies for the main characters, produce a storyline for 25 episodes and advise on text language.

The first episode of The Buzz is set to go out in mid-June, and the last in early December.

See also:

29 Apr 02 | dot life
Can a text message save democracy?
15 Apr 02 | UK
Attacked by text message
25 Mar 02 | dot life
Mystery of missing text messages
12 May 01 | Sci/Tech
Text me a soap
25 Apr 01 | Education
Text messaging soap to aid revision
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