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What annoys you most about TV programmes?

Which? Convo regular Alfa is here to debate a new topic – TV annoyances. What winds you up about telly these days? Is it the volume of ads? What about excessive narration?

I was watching Eggheads the other evening and they have introduced an annoying background beep. That got me thinking of other TV annoyances.

Let me jog your memory

‘Earlier in the program we showed you…’ – that is probably the one thing about TV programmes I hate the most.  Sure, a brief ‘In this programme…’ introduction at the start of the programme is no problem. And even an ‘in the next programme…’ at the end can work.

But why do programme makers think we need reminding before and after every set of adverts? Can we really not remember what we saw 10 minutes ago? Do we really need another reminder of what we are about to see?

I find Border Patrol and Nothing to Declare interesting programmes but the format of splitting storylines into several parts, only to then keep reminding you what you have already seen drives me mad! Why can’t they show a whole storyline then go on to the next one?

Even Countryfile has adopted this annoying format and I can’t be bothered to watch it anymore. I might actually watch more programmes right to the end if the repetition stopped.

Can you hear me at the back?

Then there’s the annoyance of filling most of the screen with what’s on next or worse, an announcement before the current programme has even finished – this completely ruins the end of a programme. Plus, sometimes I like to read the credits but they are unreadable when squashed on one side of the screen to make room for what’s next.

Having to turn the volume down when the adverts come on used to be a big problem.  This was greatly improved a few years ago but seems to be sneaking back again.

I also think the BBC are very bad at running programmes late and not adjusting their timings so the end of recordings are missing. I once wrote to the BBC when they ran a series finale late. I had recorded it on Sky and the climax was missing even though the extra 2 minutes were added to the end of the recording; their reply was a bit of an anti-climax.

Arrgghh, coming next…it’s over to you!

So, are you like Alfa – are you getting annoyed by TV? What are your top annoyances and do you have any tips to get around them?

This is a guest post from Which? Conversation community member, Alfa. 


I get irritated when people who should know better speak of “nucular” instead of nuclear. How often now do you hear “would of” or “could of” instead of “… have”. Eyerag and Eyeran – why? Surely Iraq and Iran? Oh, and those who, in reply to question in an interview, begin their answer with “So……”. I suppose it supplants “Er…”. “Umm…” and “Well” but it so irritates me.

But life is too short to get upset (it is getting longer however as each day passes) and I’ll calm down in the workshop by hanging a new door.


@ Malcom….Couldn’t agree with you more, but you missed out the latest prevalent start to an answer: “I mean”….sometimes “Well, I mean”….which indicates the clarification of a previous statement, but just replaces an ‘umm’ or an ‘er’.


I can’t stand the modern abbreviation ‘uni’ for university but I suppose ‘varsity’ sounds a bit stilted these days.

JP poncin says:
2 April 2016

Excellent documentaries all round, but why have irritating music over the voices can hardly hear interesting information. .Which is what informative programs are about…furious I wish I could pull the plug on musos in these shows.I often have to switch to nonsence programes..Angry and frustrated by this.. Jon

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To me the age of British TV occupying the top spot in documentaries-serious programmes is well over , Germany is now number one in this . Difference – no stupid “personalities ” – no music – real hard facts -no patronising “talking down ” to you , the way English documentaries of the 30,s /40,s/50,s-and into the 60,s once were and made them world renown . Now its more –I am a “personality ” so focus on me not the subject as many people now have short attention spans from watching soaps etc. Set up your sat dish for Astra 19 degrees East and watch it like it used to be here , deep scientific investigations , intense investigating of people in different countries with ZERO political bias. Worldwide subjects ,zero low brow. Try it and see.

Rosie Lake says:
28 September 2016

Why oh why are we given stage directions on so many programmes. It is getting to the stage where I am seriously thinking of stopping viewing of some of my favourite programmes. Doctors, Corrie are now totally spoiled for me with comments like ”Todd is looking over his shoulder” or on Michael Portillo’s train journey through Switzerland ”Michael is getting onto the train” —YES I can see that, thankyou!!
Is this for the use by the partially sighted or blind viewers?
Does anyone else find this an annoying intrusion


Rosie, in days gone by England had excellent documentaries by well known articulate and well loved commentators , also plays were presented -“as is ” taking it as granted you have the visual and vocal perspective to understand and even philosophize on the action taking place . This required an internal vision of life itself acquired by book reading or other physical means of acquiring intellect and a broad perspective of human actions by associating with the general public . Nowadays its down to playing with apps in your bedroom and “talking ” on social network websites which limits the mental range of young people , they now need to be “talked to ” to get the overall picture of a situation. Its restrictive and narrow and I blame the primary school teaching that doesnt expand in great detail the taught English in all its various aspects. Thats why I love the old English B+W films with great characters actors who ooze tradition and perspective showing up the modern so called “actors ” as pale imitations of how it used to be. I am in that aspect truly a “Romantic ” of , to me , the greatest era of English Film History.


Running commentaries annoy me too.

Watching the Olympics gymnastics routines to music was completely ruined by commentators. Do we really care if they are doing a double toe…..whateveryoucallit? We can see if they do a bad landing, do they really need to tell us?

BBC had a channel on Sky that showed the Olympics opening ceremony without commentary… what a relief to just enjoy the spectacle without the usual inane ramblings. Wish they would do that more often.


I agree Alfa , the weight lifting was completely ruined by a commentator constantly commented on the techniques of the lifters so much so I re-tuned to German satellite TV and watched it there .