BBC ‘breaks txt record’

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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.

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.

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.

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.