It's the ape o'clock news

A UK-based mobile communications company has launched a 24- hour live news service read by animated monkeys.

Monkey News Network is provided via FreeBe TV, a mass-market mobile TV provider, delivered over GPRS for 2.5G mobile phones.

Bruce Renny, marketing director of Rok, the mobile TV company which owns FreeBe TV, told Press Gazette: "We have all sorts of brilliant characters including a sports reporter who is a gorilla in a sheepskin coat. It's real news read by monkeys. We have a chimpanzee, an orangutan, a gorilla and all sorts.

"We subscribe to an international live audio news feed from Reuters. We run that through a special programme that we have written, which ties the audio feed into the CGI animations that we have to synch the lips of the presenter with the audio feed."

Renny said it was decided to use primates as news presenters to add humour to the news, and hoped FreeBe TV users would appreciate real news presented in an unusual way.

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