Thirty most annoying British TV habits


Talking during crucial moments of a TV show, having the ending spoiled and sitting through adverts are among the nation’s biggest television bugbears, according to a new poll.

As the nation is glued to the TV thanks to the World Cup and Love Island, a survey has revealed the habits which leave us fed-up. 

The annoying chime of a phone ringtone midway through a programme, the stop-start of buffering as online streams load and the rustling of food packaging or noisy eaters also feature in the top 30.

Forty-one per cent of respondents had had an argument or fallen out with someone. But more than one in 10 said their annoyance could be solved by getting a new TV, despite the fact that the average house already has two sets.

A tenth complained their TV was too small while more than one in 20 said their screen resolution was not high enough.

“It can be infuriating when someone or something spoils our viewing pleasure,” said Matt Walburn from Currys PC World, which commissioned the research. “But it’s not always the people we are watching it with that can leave us feeling annoyed. Sometimes it’s the tech we use.”

The study found people talking during the middle of a show or film was the most annoying bugbear, followed by having to watch adverts live. 

Having someone spoiling the end of something you are watching before you’ve got there and a bored viewing partner who huffs and puffs through the show completed the top five.

Having to listen to complaints or moaning about a show you are watching, people falling asleep and others changing the volume level also featured in the top 10.

Losing the remote control, other people guessing what’s going to happen and over exaggerated reactions to something happening on screen were also considered annoying.

More than two thirds have been forced to rewind a crucial bit of a TV show because someone did something annoying so they missed it.

And 53 per cent of people have had the ending up a TV show or a certain episode spoilt for them by someone else.

As a result, 48 per cent prefered to watch TV by themselves to avoid other people ruining it for them.

Top 30 TV bugbears:

  1. People talking while you are trying to watch TV
  2. Adverts
  3. Getting a phone call
  4. Someone spoiling the end of a show they’ve already seen
  5. People getting bored and asking to turn over
  6. People pausing it to do other things while you are watching it
  7. Buffering when using catch up/on demand TV
  8. Someone moaning about what you are watching
  9. People falling asleep
  10. People turning the volume up too high or down too low
  11. Coming to the end of a TV series you’re loving and realising there isn’t any more to watch
  12. People eating noisy food
  13. People texting throughout
  14. Someone not paying attention but then complaining something doesn’t make sense
  15. People getting up and going to the toilet/getting snacks
  16. Someone asking you what has happened because they missed the previous episode or weren’t paying attention
  17. Losing the remote control
  18. Arguing over what programme to watch
  19. Forgetting to record your programme and it’s not available on catch-up
  20. People putting on the washing/vacuuming/boiling the kettle/cooking dinner – noisy appliances
  21. Someone asking you where something is and having to get up and look for it for them
  22. Losing your recording because someone deleted it
  23. Someone else making fun of what you’re watching
  24. Other people guessing what is going to happen
  25. Being loud or exaggerating their reactions to something which happens on the TV
  26. Forgetting something was in the oven and having to get up and go get it out
  27. Losing your recording because it expired
  28. Leaving the remote control out of reach
  29. Live tweeting the episode – out loud
  30. When older shows aren’t available in HD or widescreen

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