UK & World News
Gillard Warns Of 'Doomsday' In Spoof Video
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has predicted the end of the world in a spoof video for a radio station.
The 50 second address sees the Prime Minister confirming doomsayers are right, and the apocalypse will hit this month.
Looking serious and speaking directly into camera, she says: "My dear remaining fellow Australians, the end of the world is coming."
In the tongue-in-cheek video she goes on to reference Korean pop music, the predicted crashing of computer systems at the turn of the millennium and also Australia's recent controversial carbon tax legislation:
"It wasn't Y2K, it wasn't even the carbon price. It turns out the Mayan calendar was true."
Ms Gillard says that while scientists can't confirm the news, she is confident that alternative radio station Triple J's prediction is correct.
"Whether the final blow comes from flesh-eating zombies, demonic hell beasts or from the total triumph of K-Pop, if you know one thing about me, it's this: I will always fight for you to the very end," she says with a straight face, standing at a lectern and flanked by two Australian flags.
She ends the joke broadcast on a positive note, mentioning that the apocalypse means she can escape having to appear on a weekly Australian current affairs show: "... at least this means I won't have to do Q&A again.
"Good luck to you all," she quips.
According to the Mayan calendar the world will end on December 21 which represents the end of a cycle in the Mayan long count calendar that began in the year 3114 before Christ.
A doomsday industry has boomed in Hollywood around the notion that the calendar's end will bring the fiery end of human civilisation, with the blockbuster "2012" depicting Earth being swallowed by floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The Mayan culture enjoyed a golden age between 250 AD and 900 AD in present-day Mexico and Central America, before its steady decline and the arrival of Spanish imperialists in the 16th century.
It has not been revealed how the radio station persuaded the Prime Minister to take part in the joke or whether she contributed to its writing.
Reaction has been mixed. Supporters of the joke like writer and broadcaster Paul Verhoeven took to Twitter to say the video was "astoundingly wonderful".
Others however, like Australian radio host Neil Mitchell, asked: "Is it demeaning to the office (of Prime Minister) to be doing something quite as silly as that, particularly when it's presented in quite a serious fashion?"