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Sky launches video recording via text

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Geek TV Sky subscribers can now text instructions to their Sky+ boxes from anywhere in the world, thanks to a new service that makes your remote look as slick as the penny farthing.

The service, which launched yesterday, is available to all Sky+ customers. Once users have registered their mobile phone numbers on the My Sky section of the Sky Active menu, they can instruct the box to record a show by texting its name, channel, date and time to a special number.

In a month or so, users will be able to access their Sky+ menus online and on 3G handsets.

That's not all from Sky, whose current aggressive attempts to ramp up its customer base could be seen as a response to the launch of VoD services such as BT Vision and Telewest's Teleport. Sky's own foray into on-demand TV is set to roll out over the next couple of months, with entertainment, lifestyle and kids' shows given priority.

Meanwhile, in programme news, big story of the week is the unveiling of the new Billie Piper. Freema Agyeman, as the Special AKA once almost sang, will soon be at least as famous as Chantelle and maybe even as famous as Jeremy Clarkson, thanks to her new role as Doctor Who's assistant.

Out goes Rose and in comes Freema as Martha Jones, whom the BBC describes as "the perfect foil for the Doctor". Freema debuts in this year's Christmas special and takes up residence in next year's third series of Who 2.0, but she's already busy fulfilling contractual obligations by whittering to the press about the "unbelievable" David Tenant, "never in my wildest dreams", "Billie rightfully built up an amazing fan base", blah blah.

To see Freema in action, click here for a YouTube clip of the BBC Breakfast news story. Features bonus Bill Turnbull.

Top five to watch this week:

1. Doctor Who Saturday 8 July, BBC1, 7pm
Final episode sees a hot metallic face-off between the Daleks and the Cybermen, with The Doc realising that he may have to sacrifice Rose to save the world. Switch over to BBC3 afterwards for Doctor Who Confidential, in which Mark Gatiss looks back over the series and has a little cry about Billie.

2. GBH, Saturday 8 July, More4, 10.15pm
Re-run of Alan Bleasdale's brilliant seven-part political drama. Robert Lindsay stars as a Derek Hatton-ish hate figure, with Michael Palin as a meek teacher who stands up to the politicos.

3. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Tuesday 11 July, Five, 9pm
Last in the series, with a cliffhanger even better than that one with the coffin.

4. Lost, Tuesday 11 July, E4, 11pm
Day 258 on the Big Brother island, and Sun is injured when someone tries to kidnap her from the garden.

5. Why Michael Jackson Won, Monday 10 July, Crime and Investigation Network, 8pm
Sky's new channel launches with a documentary analysing the Michael Jackson child abuse trial. Featuring candid chit-chat from the actual jurors, who are not attention-seeking money-grubbers in any way. No siree.

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Also check out our new Premiership football blog Who ate all the pies? ®

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