News Danny Cousins, 21, and his 66-year-old father, Mick, are sharing a one-bed flat in Luton while Danny saves for a house

Official figures show Britain now has more than 3m ‘boomerangers’, and it’s getting worse

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: What can I say that doesn't alienate me from my sister and niece?

Dear Virginia,

My young niece wrote from Australia asking to stay for a couple of months so she could look for a job. I said I'd happily look out for employment, but that my partner and I can't put her up because our tolerance of having anyone else in the house extends only to a long weekend! I got a furious email from her mother, my older sister, reminding me I'd stayed with her when I was a student, and saying she never wants to see me again. What can I say that doesn't alienate me from my sister and niece?

Yours Sincerely, Alex

Lionel Jeffries, actor and director, dies at 83

The actor and film director Lionel Jeffries has died at the age of 83, his family has announced. Jeffries was best known for his appearance in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and for directing the 1970 film The Railway Children.

Wrong body cremated after mortuary mix-up

Legal action was launched today by the family of a 95-year-old woman whose body was cremated by mistake following a mix-up at a hospital mortuary.

Leading article: The neglect of dementia

More than a decade ago the Royal College of Physicians warned too many care home residents with dementia were spending their final months and years in a state of suspended consciousness occupying a half-world, waiting for death to come. It highlighted the use of the "liquid cosh" – the practice of keeping challenging residents of old people's homes quiet and easy to manage by prescribing high doses of anti-psychotic drugs.

Last Night's Television: The Family, Channel 4<br />The Rules of Film Noir, BBC2

If you're beginning to get Christmas ground-rush (realising that you haven't pulled the ripcord early enough to prevent a hard landing) just be thankful that you're not having to organise an Indian wedding, a social event that involves more pre-planning than a trip to the Moon.

Howard Jacobson: We debase our cherished relationships with every mindless 'love you'

It conceals what we truly (madly, deeply) feel, especially from ourselves

Woman, 98, kills roommate, 100

A 98-year-old woman was indicted Friday on a second-degree murder charge that alleges she strangled her 100-year-old nursing home roommate after making the victim's life "a living hell" because she thought the woman was "taking over the room."

Best film & theatre books for Christmas

Kevin MacDonald recounts a transforming moment when, as a student at Oxford, he found himself sitting in front of a film made by his grandfather, Emeric Pressburger: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. The elderly Pressburger had just been admitted to an old people's home and although MacDonald shared a strong emotional bond with him, he had never much bothered with his films. Now he saw reflected for the first time the talents of an "extraordinary man" facing his last years alone.

Eight councils fail care criteria

Eight local authorities have been named and shamed by regulators over the quality of their adult social care.

Relatives hear evidence at nursing home blaze inquiry

Relatives of elderly residents who died in a fire at a care home have been giving evidence at a fatal accident inquiry into the tragedy.

Plan at last to tackle 'liquid cosh' dementia drugs

Twelve years after the Royal College of Physicans warned about the practice of “switching the patients out with the lights” in old people’s homes, and a decade since the Alzheimer’s Society first demanded an end to the use of the “liquid cosh”, the Government yesterday announced an action plan to tackle over-prescribing of anti-psychotic drugs to elderly people.

Six bodies in rapist's house were murder victims

Six women whose badly-decomposed bodies were found at the home of a convicted rapist had been murdered, medical experts said.

Forgotten authors No.40: BS Johnson

We had to reach him sooner or later. BS Johnson is the ultimate forgotten author, born in 1933, dead at 40, beloved by critics, overlooked by the public. He didn’t write much – seven slender novels of increasing peculiarity, a handful of plays and short stories – but enough to set him at the forefront of the British avant-garde. He was an unashamed experimentalist frustrated by linear storytelling, who rejected the Dickensian limitations of the novel, earning the gratitude of Anthony Burgess and the enmity of Peter Ayckroyd. Perhaps he was born too early; how he would have loved the playfulness of the internet.

Teenager bailed over blaze death

A teenager was granted bail today when she appeared in court for the first time charged with the murder of an elderly woman who died after an arson attack at her nursing home.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue