Leading article: Old spice

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The primary activities of the elderly, if the media is any guide, are dandling grandchildren on knees, tucking into meals-on-wheels, acquiring hospital infections, collecting the winter fuel allowance and flogging the family home to pay for social care.

But according to a study by researchers from Chicago University the sunset years have their share of carnal pleasures too. They have discovered that four out of 10 men and two out of 10 women over the age of 75 are still having sex.

The gender discrepancy is explained not by a minority of floozy grannies but by the fact that men tend to marry women younger than themselves. They also die sooner which may, or may not, be related to the first fact.

Yet we shouldn't be surprised by these vigorous statistics. For as Andrew Lloyd Weber has recently reminded us, Love Never Dies. And thanks to drugs such as Viagra there's not only a will but a way too.