A Man With a Van says he got more than he bargained for on a recent house clearance.

Dave Thorpe from Billericay claims he was magically transported to a strange fantasy land where he lived as King for six decades.

‘I was hired following the death of an old lady,’ explains Dave, ‘and in one bedroom there was this big wardrobe. I opened the door and next thing I know I’m standing in a snowy wood with this little geezer a bit like a horse who tells me his world’s in a bit of bother and needs my help.’

Mr Thorpe claims sixty years then passed in real time during which he encountered an evil Ice Queen and amazing mystical beings including a huge talking lion named Alan, and that he ended up leading an army of magical creatures in a fierce battle against the forces of evil.

‘The Ice Queen was destroyed, I was crowned King, married this well-fit bird and lived happily ever after until one day when I wandered into a room in my palace and the old lady’s wardrobe was there. I touched the door and was suddenly back in Billericay.’

‘Steve, my oppo came in and when I told him my tale he said I was talking bollocks because he’d only just left me five minutes earlier to shoot down the chippy to get us some lunch.’

When asked what was next for him a rueful Dave commented: ‘I’m gutted to tell the truth, because my missus in the fantasy world was a cracking bit of stuff but my missus here in Billericay ain’t all that. I’d love to somehow be able to get back there to be fair.’