Yoof-speak & Martin Baum

Writing is something I've always been involved in and before the success of Yoof-Speak I'd actually cut my teeth as a satirist, writing sketches and parody songs for the News Huddlines on BBC radio and also with News Revue, the world's longest running live comedy revue, and the Treason Show.

Nowadays, however, I'm as well known for writing from a beach-hut as I am for penning the Yoof-Speak books; spending my time letter-crunching from a laptop inspired by fresh air and wonderful coastal views, which I consider to be an idyllic writer's retreat. It's incredibly calming and a vital bolthole, especially given the amount of media attention I've received following the success of To Be or Not To Be, Innit.

The notoriety has taken me into broadcasting, where I've been able to talk about the phenomenon of Yoof-Speak and also to participate in topical discussions about texting, the relevance of the English language and my own area of expertise, which is to make literature fun and accessible.

Yoof-Speak really did create ripples of contention within educated circles but one of the first people who truly got what it was all about was celebrated theatre producer Greg Smith when he saw me on BBC Breakfast when news about To Be or Not To Be, Innit made national headlines. He immediately understood that by effectively removing the language barrier I was making literature accessible to all and he wanted to develop the theme for a wider audience by bringing it to the stage.

With hit shows Jolson, Buddy and Great Balls of Fire already to his credit and a BAFTA nomination for Othello, Greg was legendary in theatre and he immediately signed me to write a musical adaptation of the book.

But it was the notoriety of the book which was the catalyst for many interviews across the airwaves which allowed me to expand on the Yoof-Speak theme on how I created another point of literary access for people who found Shakespeare hard to absorb and were missing out on England's greatest dramatist. This in turn has led to continued interviews and discussions about many other topical talking points including the dumbing down of English in schools and discussing the merits of texting as a natural evolution in language.

Ultimately, and although the purists had issues with Yoof-Speak, I was delighted when To Be or Not To Be, Innit was backed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Their endorsement brought legitimacy and as far as I was concerned if the book was good enough for the RSC then it was good enough for me to write the second book in the series, "Oi, Mate, Gimme Some More" – a Yoof-Speak Guide to the Complete Novels of Charles Dickens, Innit, which was published in June 2010.

The last few years have been extraordinary and I hope you'll follow my blog and noticeboard for my regular observational and media updates.

Martin is a member of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain