CANBERRA (Reuters) - According to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the Mayans were right and the apocalypse is near.
In a spoof 50-second video appearance promoting a local radio station's breakfast show, Gillard provided hair-raising details that she said would come when the world ends this month, as the ancient Mayans calendar predicted.
With the straight face she often uses in a normal press conference, and surrounded by Australian national flags, Gillard addressed viewers as "My dear remaining fellow Australians."
"The end of world is coming. It wasn't Y2K, it wasn't even the carbon price," said Gillard firmly. "It turns out that the Mayan calendar is true."
Y2K was the computer glitch feared globally just before the year 2000, while the carbon tax refers to a major controversial policy put forward by her Labour government in 2012.
She went into terrifying details about the end of the world such as "flesh-eating zombies" and "demonic hell beasts", but then wooed her constituents with promises.
"If you know one thing about me it is this: I will always fight for you to the very end," she said, but noted that there is also a bright spot.
"At least this means I won't have to do Q&A again," she said, referring to an Australian TV show where politicians usually have to face tough questions from the audience.
A spokesman for Gillard said the video, which was uploaded by radio station Triple J on Thursday and has already been viewed more than 232,000 times on YouTube, was simply a spoof.
"It's just bit of fun," he told Reuters. "It's just a bit of humour for the end of the year. Nothing else."
The video comes out in the wake of a phone hoax in which two Australian presenters from another local radio station called the hospital which is treating Prince William's wife Kate and posed as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles to ask questions about her condition.
Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang, editing by Elaine Lies