Carole screamed and quickly pulled her legs up onto the sofa when this spider suddenly ran across the living room carpet in front of her.
I find identifying spiders quite a challenge, but this is probably the female Giant House Spider (Tegenaria gigantea) or at least a Tegenaria sp. (the species are not easy to separate out by photo). Those jaws look pretty fiercesome, but the bite is not supposed to be able to pierce the skin of the likes of you and me. I have picked these up at various times but, between you and me, I do feel more than a little apprehensive when doing so!
According to Wikipedia, this species used to hold the record for the top spider speed, reaching 9.73 feet per second (2.97 metres per second) at full whack!
At Carole's insistence, this one ended up in the front garden (using a large glass and piece of card!), but I usually leave them to wander around and hoover up the invertebrate life that we don't see!