"Driving Home for Christmas" is a single written by Chris Rea and released in 1986 as a non-album single. The song peaked at #53 in the UK Single Chart in 1988, and re-entered the chart in 2007, peaking at #33. It was used in Christmas commercials for supermarket chain Iceland in 1997, 1998, and 2011 respectively, with the latter featuring a cover by Stacey Solomon. An alternative version of the song was released in Japan.
In a live interview on the BBC Radio 4 programme Today on 16 December 2009 Rea said he wrote "Driving Home for Christmas" many years before he first recorded it. His wife had come down to London to drive him home to Middlesbrough in her Austin Mini to save money because it was cheaper to drive than travel by train. Inspiration for the song came as she and Rea were stuck in heavy traffic heading out of London with a long drive to Middlesbrough ahead of them. Rea said "Driving Home for Christmas" is a "car version of a carol".
Singer and television presenter Stacey Solomon covered the song in 2011 and it was released on 18 December 2011 as her debut single. Originally intended to be used solely in commercials for supermarket chain Iceland and cabins, it was later released as a single due to popular demand.
I an interview with the British newspaper The Sun, Solomon said that she was nervous about going head-to-head with the winner of that year's series of The X Factor, "If I got Christmas number one it would be the best feeling in the world," she said. "I'd be ecstatic. I don't know if I'd be able to look Simon Cowell in the eye! No, I don't think he'd talk to me!" She subsequently said that she was not disappointed that the single did not make it into the UK top 20.