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'The X Factor' to relaunch text voting this weekend

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The X Factor 2011: Live Show 2

© Rex Features / Ken McKay/TalkbackThames/Rex Features

Viewers will be able to vote for their favourite acts on The X Factor this weekend by text message after ITV, TalkbackThames and Syco confirmed that the service is to return.

Fans can send their chosen contestant names via short code when the voting opens on each Saturday's live show, and continue voting via text until noon on the Sunday. All text votes will be charged at 35p.

The telephone and Red Button voting on The X Factor will continue to be available until lines close before Sunday's live results show.

Viewers who try to vote by text outside of the vote window will still be charged 35p, but the profits from those votes will be donated to charity.

Text voting on the The X Factor, which returns for the first time since 2007, has been created by Mobile Interactive Group and service provider Harvest Media Group, in collaboration with ITV, talkbackTHAMES digital and Syco. The text voting platform has been assessed by PhonepayPlus, the UK's regulator of premium rate services.

Ann Cook, the director of ITV Interactive, said: "Texting is a hugely popular way of interacting for ITV's viewers; therefore I am delighted that we are reintroducing text voting into The X Factor this weekend alongside phone and Red Button voting.

"ITV and all the partners involved in the show have worked alongside the mobile network operators over the last 12 months to ensure that we have full confidence in returning this platform, which will enable more consumers to vote on the UK's most popular entertainment show. We are enabling the audience to engage with us in a way we know they want to."

Robert Marsh, head of TalkbackThames Digital, added: "The reintroduction of text voting to The X Factor will increase the viewer's interactivity with the show.

"We have worked closely with all partners and are fully confident that the returning service will prove popular with audiences as they choose the UK's next big music sensation."

More than 15 million phone votes were registered during the seventh series of The X Factor last year, generating in excess of £5 million in revenue for ITV, Syco, Talkback and Harvest.

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