Campaign SpotlightPress Release

Stephen Fry narrates eerie campaign by House 337 on the reality of missing people every year

LONDON, UK — A high-profile launch of a new audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry – The Missing Lines, which frustrated listeners with its abrupt ending – is today revealed to be part of an awareness campaign for the UK charity Missing People

The campaign, built around the launch of the new audiobook across leading podcast platforms from January 08, has caused consternation in just three days since its launch.

Having downloaded the audiobook, listeners found the story ends abruptly after three minutes – when the main character, Marcus, goes missing after being coerced into working with a county lines drugs gang. 


The next eight chapters are filled with nothing but an eerie silence. The listener is deprived of a resolution to the story, reflecting the real-life experience of the thousands of people whose loved ones go missing every year.  

In the final chapter, Stephen Fry explained that the podcast is not broken, but is, in fact, a partnership with the Missing People charity designed to reflect the feeling that many parents have when their loved one is missing. It’s a story with no ending, one that leaves the listener in limbo indefinitely. 

Stephen, who is a longstanding patron of Missing People, has been involved in several previous Missing People initiatives, including a digital outdoor campaign to promote the UK Child’s Rescue Alert system developed to speed up the reporting of missing children.

He has also previously appeared in a short film for the charity voicing an emotional appeal for families missing loved ones to help get missing people home for Christmas. Stephen recalled the time he famously went missing, “I went missing at a time of crisis in my life, but I was fortunate enough to be reunited with my loved ones. Not everyone gets that reunion.”

For “The Missing Lines” campaign, created pro bono by House 337, the agency came up with the idea for a story about a missing child, then wrote the opening pages and invented a fictional author, who was given the name M.S. Singh. 

House 337 approached Stephen to narrate the opening pages for the audiobook which is being distributed via Apple and Spotify’s podcast platforms. The agency has also been promoting it on the audio network Acast, via other podcasts and hosts, and through influencers across all social platforms. 

House 337 also designed a cover for the book which has been turned into a poster to promote the podcast’s launch. The artwork was displayed on over 60 DOOH sites donated by Ocean Outdoor, and across 250 sites donated by JC Decaux across the UK.

Missing People CEO Jo Youle commented, “Over a million people a year in the UK either go missing or are impacted by their loved ones going missing, so we are incredibly grateful to Stephen for bringing this seismic issue to life in such a unique way.”

She continued, “As the UK’s only charity dedicated to reconnecting missing people with their loved ones, our work needs continued support so if you’ve been moved by our Missing Lines campaign, please visit our website to find out how you can help.”

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry added, “For the people listening to the Missing Lines, that will probably mean something like frustration. The break in Marcus’ story is a possible mistake, or something that ruins your day. But when a person goes missing in real life, their loved ones are left with unimaginable loss. It could be your child, it could be someone in your family, a friend, or a colleague battling a crisis in silence. Or, it could be you.”

He continued, “I myself went missing at a time of crisis in my life, I have an understanding of the pain it causes for everyone involved.  I was fortunate enough to be reunited with my loved ones, not everyone gets that reunion. When someone disappears, they become invisible, and many of them come to harm. Tragically, more missing people than ever before are being found dead. This is a national crisis. The charity Missing People exists to connect everyone who is missing to safety, and to give them and those who miss them hope. To find out more ways that you can help, so that no one’s story is left incomplete, please visit the website.”

Steve Hawthorne, Creative Director at House 337, said, “The chance to work with Stephen Fry doesn’t come along often. So to use that opportunity to record a story that doesn’t even have an ending may seem odd. But we needed to do something a bit unusual to even begin getting across how it feels for the families and loved ones of people who go missing. And we were only able to do that thanks to an army of talented people donating their time and talent. From the vocal skills of Stephen Fry, to the audio wizardry of Wave, to the podcast expertise of Adelicious and Listen, to the generosity of Ocean Outdoor, JC Decaux, and GoodStuff. So thanks to all involved.”

Over 170,000 people run away and go missing each year in the UK. Missing People is the UK charity that offers a lifeline for anyone affected by missing or thinking of going missing. 

To find out more and donate to Missing People, follow this link here.

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