The Arctic blast which swept Britain today could kill one person very seven minutes, a charity has warned, with temperatures set to plummet even further and yet more snow on the way.

Almost a million elderly people are at risk from the bitter cold as they cannot afford to heat their homes, Age UK warned last night.

But the big freeze is expected to continue throughout the weekend and into Monday with the mercury forecast to drop as low as -15C following a night which saw six inches of snow fall in some parts of the country.

A blanket of snow covered much of the UK this morning, with as much as six inches in parts of Cumbria and the Lake District, according to the Met Office.

Freezing temperatures were experienced by much of the nation as snow fell across most of Scotland, the north of England and the south-west.

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