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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 December, 2004, 10:51 GMT
10 tips on remote control etiquette
New research suggests men are still hogging the television remote control - 41% of men and 30% of women claim to rule the sofa entertainment, says a poll by Intel. We asked some etiquette experts what the rules are on button-hogging.

1. The first rule of politeness is "No Quick Changes". The remote-controller who speeds through a hundred channels without even one breathless pause in one minute has committed a social crime, worthy of being remote-deprived for the rest of the of the social hour. People should be allowed to at least know what programme is being rejected by the controller. (Letitia Baldrige, author and lecturer on manners)

2. Do not hide the remote control when you are going to the bathroom. This overt power play is sure to offend your female companion. (Mr Manners of Tomorrow's News)

3. It's only when women are widowed that they discover there's such a thing as a remote control and they find all kinds of things that are on television, like musicals as well as westerns. If you can't agree with your partner what to watch, then split up immediately because it can't be resolved. (Lynne Truss, author of bestseller Eats, Shoots and Leaves and about to tackle the subject of manners)

4. If there's someone in the room who is about to appear on the television himself or herself- a performer, politician, quiz show contestant or felon caught in the act by police - they get priority. (Letitia Baldrige, author and lecturer on manners)

5. Buy two televisions or do without the man. No woman who can squeeze into a pair of trousers should be with a man who hogs the remote. It's emotional violence and mental cruelty. It means your life is not under your control. I don't want to control a man but neither do I want to be controlled. (Writer and broadcaster Marcelle D'Argy Smith)

6. Men present in the TV room may well lobby for a girly-girly show, such as a big bosoms contest, but their choices may be rejected simply by the numerical strength of the women present. Democracy is a human right which overshadows an individual's right to watch beauty pageants. (Letitia Baldrige)

7. When you do share the remote, remember this is a risky strategy, because you've got to be prepared for those times when the other person actually does take control. The upside is that this approach puts a stop to any arguing.(Peter Post, author of Essential Manners for Men: What to Do, When to Do It and Why)

8. Sports-mad viewers should be given their own TV set - in an out-of-the-way place in the house, such as the kitchen or a bathroom - where they can remain undisturbed and undisturbing to others while watching the game. (Letitia Baldrige)

9. People on diets should be allowed to veto the watching of cooking shows. (Letitia Baldrige)

10. Agree with each other and say "let's look through what's on". The problem with that is the man usually just goes ahead anyway. (Lynne Truss)

Any etiquette tips to add? Submit your comments to this story using the form below. A selection of your comments include:

Why wait until you're widowed? I found that divorce solved the problem admirably.

Do none of these etiquette experts have children? For years now the first I see of the remote is when the last of my children has been extracted, screaming and kicking, from the lounge and sent to bed.
Mike Thomason, England

If you can't think of anything better to do every evening than sit (and squabble over a piece of electronics filled plastic) and watch TV, then that's your problem right there.
Anon, UK

1. locate the off button 2. use it frequently 3. get a life
Edward Ronnie, Oman

Get two remotes? Competitive instinct!!!
Christopher Gaunt, UK

Throw the remote away then whoever wants to change the channel has to move off the sofa like the old days
Randy, Thailand

Live on your own - problem solved.
Ian Mansfield, UK

Never remove the batteries while taking a toilet break
David, United Kingdom

Men will kick up all hell of a fuss when Sex and the City or such comes on. However, weather the first few minutes of complaining and I promise they will watch in quiet awe for the rest of the show. Tested on 4 males aged 23-25.
Amy , Norfolk

Anyone who believes that it is possible to increase the range of a remote by pressing harder, or the accuracy by holding it up to the chin when aiming shouldn't be allowed access.
O.G.Nash, Doha, Qatar

Always ask permission before changing channels. Women apparently can read a magazine, talk on the phone, and be watching something on tv all at the same time.
Alan O'Donnell, UK

So, would it would be wrong to take the remote away on business trips and holidays without the family ?
Erik Bean, England

Small children must never set the programme reminder or autoview for programmes after their bed-time. Neither mummy nor daddy like Jeremy Paxman turning into Roly Poly Olie.
Jack Falstaff, UK

Do what my partner and I did - get a Sky plus box thing. No more arguments and no need to channel hop because all you want to see in one week is right there in front of you!
Anon, Dorset

My wife and I have come to a simple arrangement. I watch what I want in the evening and if there's something on she wants to see, it's recorded so she can watch it during the day when I'm at work. Simple. Then again, the situation is simplified even further by the fact she is a huge football fan-so no argument over endless sport on the telly. Back of the net!
Nick, UK

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