I was never in the running to be chairman of the BBC, but if experience as a consumer of the product were any qualification, I should at least have been in the frame. Unlike Chris Patten, who eventually got the gig, I not only know what the BBC does, but more importantly have thoroughly checked out the opposition.
Patten admitted when he took the job that he watches little TV of any sort. I, on the other hand, watch all sorts. After 14 years writing a column about televised sport for The Guardian, I have to. After all, a football match is just a football match, so I must forage for material in the outer suburbs of the satellite receiver, hoping to find gems like Mantracker on Extreme Sports, which is essentially hide and seek on the telly. (A sportswriter's tip: anything with 'extreme' in the title is, by definition, of interest to readers of the back bit of the newspaper, the toy department as it used to be known).
The upshot is that I am now intimate with my channel changer, hitting the buttons with an easy familiarity, and what the Football Pink used to call the calm assurance of a veteran. If the remote control were a woman, I would be Warren Beatty.
Lately, though, the sure touch of what I like to call my trigger finger has deserted me. My wanderings are often late at night - as Jerry Seinfeld astutely observed, the finger operating the remote is the very last part of the human body to fall asleep - and I am increasingly finding myself stalled on films I either avoided or was less than enthusiastic about on their release, but now mysteriously find impossible to desert should I happen to surf their way.
I cannot think of a category for these films. They are not good-bad movies, or bad-good movies, and certainly not classics. Mystifyingly unmissable is the best I can come up with. Or enduringly enjoyable.
As Good As It Gets and A Few Good Men are a couple that always snare me. The former is the one where Jack Nicholson has OCD, implausibly cured by the devotion of a small dog. There are lines I enjoy in the early OCD scenes - "Sound crazy some place else, we're all stocked up here" - but why don't I bail out before it gets sticky?
Similarly, I get snagged on Nicholson as Colonel Nathan R Jessup. Tom Cruise and Demi Moore irritate me beyond measure, but at whatever point I join the film I know I will stay until the courtroom clears, and Cruise does wistful.
Maybe it's the greatness of Nicholson that grips for the eighth, ninth, tenth time - I even get hooked on Terms of Endearment - while with some other films in this mystifying category, it is mere familiarity that breeds contentment.
Pulp Fiction, A Fish Called Wanda, Back To The Future, Trading Places, Mrs Doubtfire, Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion are all films I emerged from the cinema having enjoyed, but alert to their deep flaws. Had anyone asked me if I intended to revisit any of them, I should have laughed. Yet twenty or thirty years later, in front of my TV late at night I am transfixed, unable to move on.
Then there are films so universally reviled, I spurned them; late period Woody Allen for instance. Now Small Time Crooks, Sweet and Lowdown, and even the irredeemably silly You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger keep me from my important research up and down the remote. Interestingly, I now find this stuff more compelling than Sleeper, Love and Death, and other products of Woody's early, golden era.
It's a mystery, as Toyah Wilcox said in an entirely different context all those years ago. And to prove it, I even sit through Working Title products like Love Actually and the depressingly shallow The Boat That Rocked - or The Shit That Floats, as I dubbed it at the time. Go figure.
You will have your own examples of non-classics you will watch repeatedly, even as you sidestep acknowledged masterpieces like Citizen Kane. If that is the case, I will see your Groundhog Day, and raise you my Tootsie.
(You can find The Word online
, but this piece isn't there. If you want to add your own suggestions of films impossible to put down, best to do it on Twitter @martinkelner