WATCH: Emma Thompson Reads ‘The Night Before Christmas’

Emma Thompson (that's not a real book)

Emma Thompson (that’s not a real book)

Looking for a particularly anglophile way to get the festive season started? Well why not try this…

Penguin Books has commissioned this delightful video, in which Emma Thompson starts (and finishes) a celebrity read-through of Clement Clarke Moore’s The Night Before Christmas. She’s joined by fellow celebrity Penguin authors, such as Richard Curtis and Jennifer Saunders, to take a couple of lines each.

As an exercise in ensemble delivery of a text, it’s interesting to note who is good and who is not good. Emma is clearly the best, of course, but Charlie Higson does rather well, as do Graham Nash, Cerys Matthews and Jeremy Paxman.

Malcolm Gladwell, on the other hand, mis-rhymes ‘roof’ and ‘hoof,’ and Jamie Oliver reads as if language is not his first language.

Which just goes to show: reading stuff aloud is not as easy as it looks.

See more:
Colin Firth And Hugh Bonneville To Star In ‘Paddington Bear’ Movie
Saluting ‘Love Actually’ on Its Tenth Anniversary
New Yorkers: Emma Thompson Is Heading To Your Town
WATCH: Emma Thompson Hunts Peter Rabbit

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

See more posts by Fraser McAlpine