I've never understood why people, and the media in particular, seem so shocked when it gets cold in Winter (or hot in Summer, for that matter). It's like we forget each year that we live in a temperate climate where we have four seasons, and that involves peaks of hot weather and cold weather.
I think they just need to fill up their pointless news programmes with equally pointless items on the 'unusual' weather. The Met Office, however, have been quite sensible, going to some length to explain it's just a blast of cold Arctic air being buffered our way from Russia - completely unremarkable in almost every respect. And, yes, people do forget that by rights we should enjoy practically the same cold temperatures as large swathes of Scandinavia, given the UK's latitudes. I think it's just the Gulf Stream that brings warm Atlantic air up our way that spares us that fate.