Doctor W. G. Van Hoyt, Professor of Astronomy at Leeds Royal Observatory, surprised the scientific community this week by announcing the discovery of Mr Dougal Fridgely of 42 Belvedere Crescent, Tadcaster.
Doctor Van Hoyt's shock announcement is the result of many years of careful study, and although Mr Fridgely has not yet been observed directly, his existence has been deduced from measurements made of the irregularities in the orbit of the much larger Mrs Fridgely.
Not large enough to be classed as a planet
Mr Fridgely is not large enough to be classed as a planet in the true scientific sense, but his existence is nevertheless seen as an encouraging sign that there could indeed be other planets out there.
"I think that many people will welcome this new discovery," says Doctor Van Hoyt in a strangely unconvincing Germanic accent. "For many years scientists have speculated on the possible existence of Mr Fridgely. Now that we have firm evidence, investigation of this phenomenon can begin in earnest. This is good, ya?"
Spectrographic analysis of the gas clouds emanating from the surface of Mr Fridgely have revealed that he has two children and works for an insurance company. Claims that he has a wooden leg and speaks with a lisp have so far remained unconfirmed.
However, next month NASA plan to capture the first images of Mr Fridgely using the high resolution camera aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, and they have promised that these pictures will be released to the media just as soon as they are back from the chemist.