The London Economic Features

Let’s Chris Rea and Get us Home

For millions of Brits, Christmas doesn’t start until Chris Rea is blaring out and the journey home has commenced.

New research has revealed more than half (56 per cent) of Brits say their festive excitement peaks on the journey home, with almost one in five expecting to hit the road on December 23rd to make it home for Christmas Eve.

The study, commissioned by Audible, found that we are much more tolerant of queues when driving home for Christmas. Some 44 per cent of drivers will be spotting other people’s Christmas lights and decorations, whilst 36 per cent of drivers say they will be singing carols.

Audiobooks are also proving particularly popular, with the Harry Potter series – narrated by Stephen Fry – and the Jungle Book topping a top 13 list of Christmas car selections.

Gillian Anderson, who narrates a free, exclusive download of Mrs Zant and the Ghost by Wilkie Collins, says,“I’m a huge fan of Audiobooks – I find them entertaining and immersive so having a great story to share as a family on a long drive is genius. Sometimes when listening to music, you’re very aware of time passing, with each song lasting three minutes – whereas if you’re caught up in the narrative of a story, you don’t notice how long you’ve been listening, or driving, for that matter.

It was a Victorian tradition to share ghost stories on Christmas Eve and so I have chosen to read the chilling Mrs Zant and the Ghost by Wilkie Collins. Once I got my head around the Victorian phrasing it became such a joy to read. The story really transports you to a fireside over a century ago.”’s Christmas Car Selection

  1. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling – narrated by Stephen Fry
  2. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling – narrated by Bill Bailey, Richard E. Grant, Celia Imrie and more
  3. Northern Lights series by Philip Pullman  – narrated by Phillip Pullman and cast
  4. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  5. Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams – narrated by David Walliams and Michael Gambon
  6. Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien – narrated by Derek Jacobi
  7. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
  8. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle: Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Rudolph Shines Again by Robert L. May
  10. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A Hoffman – narrated by Tony Robinson
  11. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen – narrated by Rosamund Pike
  12. A Christmas Present by Jodi Taylor
  13. Mrs. Zant and the Ghost by Wilkie Collins – narrated by Gillian Anderson

Laurence Howell, Director of Audible UK says, “Christmas is a bumper time for families to be together in the car. We know people love to listen to audiobooks in the car, so made sure people across the country had something great to listen to during those long Christmas drives. Working with Gillian was an absolute pleasure. Her voice has the perfect haunting tone and we couldn’t have hoped for a better narrator for Mrs Zant and the Ghost.”

Mrs Zant and the Ghost is available to download for free from 23 December 2015 at with the twelve other stories available now.

Leave a Reply