TELEVISION presenter Katie Piper, from Andover, has released a first-of-its-kind children’s book to highlight digital exclusion in the UK.

Best-selling author and philanthropist Katie has teamed up with Tesco Mobile to release the first children’s infinite zoom e-book - designed to raise awareness about the importance of digital connectivity. 

Inspired by first-hand accounts from anti-poverty charity, the Trussell Trust, Alfie’s Magic Phone follows the tale of a young boy living without connectivity, access to data or internet connection at home, whose world is transformed when he discovers a magical phone that transports him to ‘Dataville’. 

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Alfie’s experience of being cut off from loved ones, locked out of life-changing services and held back through a lack of connection is one shared by 1.7m households currently living with no broadband or mobile internet access at home in the UK today.

This colourful journey, brought to life by illustrator Tom McLaughlin, unfolds through infinite zoom technology – a feature encouraging readers to look beyond the surface and ‘zoom in’ to uncover the real story.   

Bringing this innovative technology to an e-book for the first time, Alfie’s Magic Phone was designed to engage and educate families who might take their own digital connection for granted. By encouraging readers to find out more about the digital divide, they can help to make sure more families get access to interactive learning. 

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To help create the story, Katie collaborated with the Trussell Trust and consulted people with lived experience of poverty, to anchor her story in the realities of facing financial hardship and digital exclusion. 

Katie said: “I am thrilled to work with Tesco Mobile and the Trussell Trust on this children’s book. This illustrated educational tale explores a new interactive format that could one day become the norm in schools. No family should be left behind due to digital exclusion. This is more than just a story; it’s a tool for change, helping those of us who can take being connected for granted to understand the importance of connectivity for every family across the UK.”

Jonathan Taylor, chief executive of Tesco Mobile, said: "We are immensely proud to join forces with the Trussell Trust and Katie Piper to address the issue of digital exclusion among families around the UK in such a poignant way.”