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Noisy eating, second-guessing plotlines and hogging the remote – the worst TV habits

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Constant questioning of plotlines, flicking channels and noisy eating have been unveiled as some of the most annoying TV habits. Viewers who answer phone calls or guess the ending also featured highly in the list of irritating traits in a TV companion, alongside hogging the remote control and forgetting to record your favourite show.

The study, of 2000 telly lovers, found noise from another room and viewers who predict what is going to happen on the screen also featured highly in the list.

The research, which was commissioned by TalkTalk TV, found that one in five British telly fanatics see red when a TV companion is found to have deleted a show on the TV planner.

And 75% said their pet hate was being bombarded with questions from either friends or family about what is happening on screen.

Reading spoilers on social media was also a common bugbear amongst telly fans and emerged in the do’s and don’ts of television watching.

And 70% of those in a relationship said their other half infuriated them when they were trying to watch something good by constant distractions.

Constantly rewinding to watch things again that weren’t understood, making sarcastic comments or people who know what’s going to happen watching to see how you react were also irritating.

TalkTalk‘s Tristia Harrison said:

“With Eurovision, the World Cup and lots more great TV moments coming up this summer, there has never been a better opportunity to put some of our golden rules about watching the box with friends and family into practice.

“We have all been in the situation where someone talks all the way through a gripping drama trying to guess what will happen next.

“Likewise crunching and chomping on food is bound to drive avid TV watchers around the twist.

“Thankfully for those forced to watch with unwanted commentary TalkTalk TV offers functionality to pause, rewind and catch up if your TV companion talks over the best bits.”

When questioned about the most desired characteristics in a perfect TV companion, over half placed importance on their partner liking to watch the same programmes as them.

A third valued a quiet companion who remains silent throughout an entire show and focuses on the action rather than being distracted by phone calls, emails and texts.

Forward thinkers that pre-record programmes so you can fast forward the ads and someone that introduces you to new shows matching your interests also scored highly in the list of the most sought after qualities.

However, whilst silence may be golden to many viewers, 25% enjoy partaking in running commentary and banter with their TV viewing companions.

An unfortunate 38% of adults said they had had a show completely ruined after reading a spoiler, with the most common culprit being friends’ status updates on Facebook.

Twitter, newspapers and overhearing people talk were also blamed for regularly giving the ending away on favourite TV programmes.

Famous TV couple Steph and Dom who star in Channel 4’s popular Gogglebox were chosen as the couple Brits would most like to watch telly with due to their witty commentary over an aperitif or two.

Their funny one-liners resulted in one in ten voting in their favour, compared to Sandy and Sandra who were seen as the least appealing due to their loud commentary and noisy eating habits.



1. Sit quietly throughout the whole programme
2. Watch TV with someone that likes the same programme as you
3. Only discuss the programme with someone once the programme has ended
4. Give 100% to a programme rather than be distracted by phone calls, emails, social media and tablets
5. Pre-record the whole programme so you can sit down to watch it all the way through with no interruptions
6. Take advantage of watching TV as night in of relaxation
7. Make yourself comfy
8. Introduce your TV companions to new programmes
9. Have a good gossip, but only when you know it’s the same programme


1. Constantly question about storylines and character behaviour
2. Channel change – constantly flick from one to the next
3. Take phone calls
4. Eat noisily
5. Second guess what’s going to happen
6. Make jokes or sarcastic comments
7. Hog the remote
8. Forget to record a programme for you
9. Delete recorded programmes on the planner
10. Spoil endings by looking on social media


1. Someone that’s quiet
2. Someone that has similar interests
3. Someone that has prior knowledge of certain programmes and doesn’t ask questions
4. Someone that focuses on the programme rather than being distracted by calls, texts
5. Someone who is up for a gossip about your favourite show