Following Shropshire's unexpected declaration of independence (reported exclusively by our reporter sprat) the ancient county of Rutland has now declared independence, too.
Unfortunately for Rutland, it is so small that most people can't find it. And those that do, regret that they ever did.
One motorist, Mr. Philip Phones-while-driving, said that he took the road to Rutland five times in one day and each time he drove past the entire county. "There was a rolling bank of fog", he told our reporter's six-year old son. "It came at me unexpectedly and I can swear I heard eerie laughter, which I believe was from ghostly figures from Rutland's past".
Another motorist, Mrs Rita Road-rage, said that she did find the ancient market town of Oakham, which is "really only a crappy village with some new houses", but that "All the residents looked like evil hillbillies who have been interbreeding for years."
We interviewed Leicester Police Constable Paul Normal, who had stopped our car for speeding, and he told us that police in the area are afraid to enter Rutland. "My Sarge went there last week and when he came out, he was a gibbering maniac, repeatedly screaming that he wanted to eat people's brains."
Professor Michael Made-up-my-own-qualifications from Leicester University's Department of Rutland and Other Supernatural Affairs said "Oakham was once a thriving market town in the ancient county of Rutland where they had a tradition that every visitor had to bring a horseshoe and hang it in the town hall. One day many hundreds of years ago, a foreigner from Derbyshire was crippled when all the horseshoes fell on him and he placed a curse on the county. Ever since then, the area developed a negative reputation. The milk turned sour and couples gave birth to idiot children. People avoided Rutland like the plague, leading to expressions like 'in a rut'. It was deleted from all maps and Parliament passed a law forbidding anyone from ever mentioning the name ever again, on pain of torture. Unfortunately, in the early 1990s, they repealed that law and gave the area its old name back. Don't people ever learn from history?"
We looked up Derbyshire in a map book but couldn't find it either.
We tried to interview a resident from Rutland but he ate our microphone and chased us down the road.