These days when watching Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother I have been making ever-more use of my remote control. It's complex and clunky and I wish it had an Apple iPhone interface.
I have been using the remote to silence Jade Goody's bovine chatter, and the terrible vision of her and her supporting witches engaged in a full-time attack on beautiful Indian megastar, Shilpa Shetty.
Granted, it's train-wreck TV - but even I (with my tough time-honed news reporter's thick skin) can't watch it all the time - and that's where the remote control steps in. And it's rubbish. I have invested in a programmable universal remote control, but it's rubbish too. So what's all this got to do with Apple?
Just look at the iPhone. I want one of those, I'd use it to call people sometimes, listen to music and watch video. I love its touchscreen and the way it offers a different (and easy-to-use) interface to control each feature. It's really quite impressive.
But I'd like to ask Apple's product designers why we can't have a universal remote control that does something like this? Come on Apple, use your patents! The K.I.S.S. adage is that people must Keep It Simple Stupid. If Apple is serious about making a play for the living room, then why not deliver a device just about everybody wants, needs and uses - the ultimate universal remote control?
It's eminently possible. Those infra-red remote controls that ship with your TV, stereo or other device use sets of commands created by the manufacturers.
Programmable remotes find those commands, and make them work using their own interfaces - but all these remotes are clunky, complex and non-intuitive to use. And the button-based interface is sooo last century.
What if Apple created an Apple-branded remote control with a touchscreen and a visual, iPhone-like interface?
All you'd need to do is programme the remote for your device. You could even have downloadable drivers for this, offering electronics manufacturers an easy to use software development kit to build in the relevant commands, on an open source model.
Once you had your remote programmed for all the devices in your home, you'd have a main home menu that offered little icons depicting each piece of equipment: TV, satellite/cable box, stereo, radio, alarm clock, whatever.
You could simply select the device you wanted to control, and then navigate through commands using an easy-to-understand, intuitive and visual user interface.
You could stick a little Bluetooth into the gadget, so you could beam controls for your home entertainment devices to any new remotes you bought into the house.
You could (I think) even build-in the facility for the remote to be sent instructions from any Bluetooth-connected device a user may own, but that would be of limited use.
Where you'd clean up with that last feature is if you enabled the remote to be controlled by a Bluetooth-enabled computer (PC or Mac).
If you had a remote which was capable of doing this - which you could control using a computer - the next step would be to enable web-based control of your remote - and therefore all the devices in your home.
This means you could be sitting in your office, train - anywhere where you had a computer with Internet access - and you could turn your TV on to the channel you want, switch on your video or DVD recorder, record shows you forgot you'd miss and more.
If on holiday you could programme the device to automatically switch on your equipment in order to make it seem you had someone at home.
Electronic equipment makers could perhaps create add-on products that make other household devices - lights, microwaves, washing machines - remote controllable. When you get home at night, you could have your dinner cooked, clothes cleaned, lights on and that mid-afternoon movie you wanted to watch recorded for an early evening session.
And if Apple made this gadget, then it would truly be "in your den".
So come on, Apple, here's a chance to get into every living room. Give us a remote control we can use, and help this nation flick the off switch on the 'witches of Eastwick' and their nasty discussions on the Endemol experiment in social control that is Celebrity Big Brother.
Please, Apple, please, deliver us from evil and reinvent a category we all endure - give us a powerful remote control we can actually use.
Just a thought.