3 UK signs up TV Go Home firm for 3G comedy content

LONDON - 3 UK has signed the comedy and entertainment arm of 'Big Brother' firm Endemol UK to provide comedy content for its third-generation mobile phone network.

Under the agreement, Endemol's Zeppotron arm, which is behind the TV Go Home website, will provide 3 with a range of comedy content, including video, audio, text, animation and graphics.

Video highlights will include How 2, a series that offers helpful advice and techniques in the most useless of topics, including dancing, flirting and farting.

Lisa Gernon, marketing director of 3 UK, said: "People can now pre-order handsets at our 3 stores and selected branches of Carphone Warehouse, Dixons, The Link and Phones4U. Our extensive consumer research over the last 18 months has shown us that people really enjoy our comedy product and content. Video clips of jokes and animation are proving to be some of our most popular content when demonstrating the services."

Sample animations include 'See & Know', a fun animated guide to the world around us, teaching users the basics of life using shapes, colours, numbers and dangerous medical implements; and 'The Doodles', a new animated series of comic shorts in the classic British picture-postcard tradition.

Zeppotron managing director Paul Gilheany said: "We're sitting proudly astride the newly drawn border of technology and entertainment. Zeppotron comedy on 3 handsets is like having a court jester in your pocket without worrying that you're going to sit on his bells."

Zeppotron was formed in 2000 from a writing and producing team whose credits include 'The 11 O'Clock Show' and 'Brass Eye'. Its cult website TV Go Home became a TV series for Channel 4 and E4, and a book for 4th Estate.

Other successes include shopping channel satire 'Unnovations', which also began as a website before evolving into a TV series.

Most recently, Zeppotron was been commissioned by Channel 4 to produce a nine-episode, 30-minute primetime entertainment show 'The People's Book of Records', due to air at the end of March.

Endemol UK bought 25% of the company in 2000, acquiring the remaining 75% in 2002.

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