Baby boomers reveal the things that REALLY annoy them

Banning old records because of their lyrics is the number one frustration for baby boomers.

Drivers being forced to pay for car parking on an app, bank branches closing and not being able to get a doctor’s appointment also made the list of top niggles for over 50s, according to new research.

The survey was carried out by Boom Radio — the national radio station aimed at baby boomers — which questioned hundreds of its 531,000 weekly listeners about their pet peeves in today’s world.

Respondents were asked 31 questions and given a choice of ‘really frustrating’, ‘quite frustrating’, ‘it does not bother/affect me’ and ‘it does not bother/affect me at all’ as answers.

When asked, 73 per cent of the 653 listeners said banning old records because of their lyrics was very frustrating while a further 17 per cent said it was quite frustrating. 

Banning old records because of their lyrics is the number one frustration for baby boomers. Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls was recently taken off their Greatest Hits ALbum

The 1978 track, which was written by guitarist Brian May, has been enjoyed by generations of fans as a humorous and hard-rocking tribute to a young man's appreciation of fuller-figured ladies

It comes just weeks after the band Queen omitted the track Fat Bottom Girls from their latest greatest hits album — causing a public backlash — because of worries it might be offensive.

One said: ‘How are people ever going to learn to deal with things that make them uncomfortable or force them to question things, if the world is to be painted beige for them? 

‘Perhaps they should be encouraged to listen to the lyrics of a lot of the songs that we grew up with so they can understand that, far from being out of touch, we have been fighting for the same things since the 60s!’

The next biggest irritation was lack of telephone access to companies such as utilities, with 73 per cent of baby boomers saying it was really frustrating, and 17 per reckoning it was quite frustrating.

Car parks with machines that need drivers to use a smartphone app to pay for parking was also on the top annoyances list for 68 per cent. One baby boomer commented: ‘It is BEYOND [sic] frustrating every single parking area uses a different parking app and you are expected to download each one on your phone. If they don’t want to use cash … then at least allow the option of paying by card.’

The entertainment industry also featured highly in the catalogue of grievances. Sixty-one per cent of baby boomers felt really frustrated by unintelligible mumbled words on films and TV, and a further 28 per cent found this quite frustrating, according to the Boom Radio survey. 

Newsreaders didn’t escape boomers’ wrath either — 60 per cent found poor grammar and diction from TV and radio newsreaders really frustrating, while 26 per cent thought it was quite frustrating.

Health was also a key issue. Trying — and failing — to get an appointment with a doctor was really frustrating for 58 per cent of respondents and quite frustrating for 25 per cent. When it came to being ‘nannied on what’s good or not good to eat’, 60 per cent said they feel really frustrated.

Barclays , HSBC , Lloyds and Halifax are among the latest banks to close more UK branches, which will see sites shut in areas such as London , Suffolk and Newcastl

Elements of the banking, consumer and retail sector were a particular irritation for the baby boomers questioned. Fifty-six percent said they were really or quite frustrated by automatic check outs at the supermarket — with one adding ‘…us older people like human contact and need it more these days’ — while background music was a widespread annoyance, with 43 per cent saying they were very frustrated at loud music blaring out of speakers in shops and pubs.

On the subject of high street banks, fifty-five per cent of baby boomers found bank branches closing down really frustrating and 23 per cent said it was quite frustrating.

There was also a fear of being caught short. 

Some 56 per cent of respondents were really frustrated by a lack of public toilets, echoing recent research from British Toilet Association which estimated that the UK has lost 50 per cent of its public toilets in the past decade.

As part of the survey, Boom Radio listeners were also asked to share anything about modern society that frustrated them the most. 

One wrote: ‘Young children screaming and generally misbehaving in restaurants. This can come under the heading ‘bad parenting’.’

Another added: ‘Expecting us to keep up with the latest trends, for example, gender issues, new meaning of words, or words you cannot say anymore for fear of offending. It is difficult to keep up with new trends and we are forever being made to feel ‘racist’ or some sort of phobic.’

Other complaints included portion size — ‘…restaurants not offering smaller portions on their menus. Children’s menus are inappropriate. 

Lack of access to public loos was another common gripe

‘We don’t want to eat fish fingers and baked beans. We want adult food with slightly smaller portions…’ — and the new generation of sports commentators — ‘…BBC, Sky and BT Sport programmes which are pushing an anti our-age agenda by replacing favourite knowledgeable warm witty presenters with unknown bland social justice warriors…’.

Boomers also found fashion designs for their age insipid. 

‘We’re the generation of Mary Quant and Ossie Clark. So why are so many clothes meant to appeal to us so very boring?’ said one. 

This was supported by the research: when questioned, 50 per cent (23 per cent and 26 per cent respectively), were very or quite frustrated that clothes for ‘our generation’ were ‘too fussy or beige’. 

However, most were relaxed about being teased about their age — with 79% saying it didn’t bother them.

David Lloyd, co-founder of Boom Radio, said: ‘Whilst some of the points raised are simply minor niggles, others indicate how challenging life can become in utterly essential areas for this huge swathe of the population. 

‘The sheer detail in the responses indicates the strength of feeling amongst our audience – and a view their needs are increasingly neglected.’

Boom Radio first aired on Valentine’s Day 2021 and was founded by Phil Riley and David Lloyd — veterans of the British radio industry — who spotted a gap in the market for a new music radio station aimed at Radio 2 listeners. 

According to the most recent radio industry figures released last month, Boom doubled its listening year-on-year as listeners flock to the station to hear more of the music they grew up with. 

Much of Boom’s success is thanks to its veteran presenters playing hit records from the 1960s and 1970s which appeal to their listeners aged over 50.

Answer Choices Very frustrating Quite frustrating It does not bother me/affect me too much It does not bother/affect me at all Response Total
Places not accepting cash payments 28.35% 22.03% 35.75% 13.87% 649
184 143 232 90
Small writing on restaurant menus 31.63% 32.71% 27.60% 8.06% 645
204 211 178 52
Loud music in shops 43.39% 29.39% 22.40% 4.82% 643
279 189 144 31
Questionnaires where all people aged over 50 or over 60 are lumped together as one in the tick boxes 26.32% 29.10% 30.50% 14.09% 646
170 188 197 91
Poor lighting in restaurants 21.05% 35.91% 33.44% 9.60% 646
136 232 216 62
Lack of telephone access to companies we do business with 73.92% 16.36% 7.56% 2.16% 648
479 106 49 14
Car parks with machines that need a smart phone 68.32% 13.14% 9.43% 9.12% 647
442 85 61 59
Securing loans or mortgages at my age 9.02% 7.47% 26.44% 57.08% 643
58 48 170 367
Unintelligible mumbled words on TV drama/films 61.61% 27.55% 7.12% 3.72% 646
398 178 46 24
Poor grammar and diction from TV and radio newsreaders 60.46% 25.69% 10.92% 2.92% 650
393 167 71 19
Trying to get an appointment with the doctor 58.95% 23.61% 12.19% 5.25% 648
382 153 79 34
Small writing on product ingredients 52.63% 30.03% 13.00% 4.33% 646
340 194 84 28
People making jokes about my age 9.15% 10.85% 42.79% 37.21% 645
59 70 276 240
Securing holiday insurance at my age 17.42% 24.73% 30.17% 27.68% 643
112 159 194 178
Advertising on TV and posters rarely depicting people my age 14.42% 24.19% 38.29% 23.10% 645
93 156 247 149
50 plusses depicted as clutching a walking stick in press/online articles about older people 33.49% 27.78% 25.31% 13.43% 648
217 180 164 87
Bank branches closing down 56.41% 21.79% 14.37% 7.42% 647
365 141 93 48
Being defined as ‘pensioners’ 21.00% 16.95% 35.46% 26.59% 643
135 109 228 171
Having to print out tickets etc rather than be posted them 31.53% 27.98% 23.34% 17.16% 647
204 181 151 111
Being defined as ‘the elderly’ 26.64% 23.21% 30.22% 19.94% 642
171 149 194 128
Job recruitment/interviews and workplaces geared to younger people 12.23% 14.55% 26.93% 46.28% 646
79 94 174 299
Prejudice generally because of my age 24.42% 28.90% 28.44% 18.24% 647
158 187 184 118
Media no longer reflecting my tastes and interests 41.95% 32.20% 18.42% 7.43% 646
271 208 119 48
Hard to open packaging 39.88% 33.85% 19.17% 7.11% 647
258 219 124 46
Securing car rental 3.11% 5.60% 29.08% 62.21% 643
20 36 187 400
Automated checkouts in supermarkets 38.32% 16.98% 23.21% 21.50% 642
246 109 149 138
Clothes for ‘our generation’ too fussy and beige 23.17% 24.88% 29.70% 22.24% 643
149 160 191 143
The ‘cog wheel’ drop-down list of dates-of-birth on forms where you have to scroll forever before you come to yours 32.87% 31.79% 22.22% 13.12% 648
213 206 144 85
Banning old records because of their lyrics 73.84% 16.41% 6.04% 3.72% 646
477 106 39 24
Nannying on what’s good or not good to eat or drink 60.16% 23.26% 11.32% 5.27% 645
388 150 73 34
Lack of public toilets 56.43% 27.77% 11.29% 4.51% 443
250 123 50 20


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