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The world will end on Sunday, according to Nostradamus. The 16th-century astrologer may have also foreseen the French Revolution, Second World War and the deaths of the Kennedys. His verses, however, written in old French, are open to interpretation.

The King of the West will come undone

Caught out in an oval-shaped room

A garment brought out for inspection

And his queen remain greatly displeased

In the spring of nineteen ninety-nine

A great terror will come from the sky

The Bear and The Dragon will grumble

The Lion as usual, be well up for it

With his career still in the doldrums

The third brother will jump the broomstick

But his wedding shall be more discreet

Disrupting the scrying only on Beeb 2

In the centre court of Wombledon

A terrible rain will fall all day

A child shall slaughter the young queen

And the strawberries be over-priced

Vague shall claim victory on Europe

But no one will be very convinced

Then Bland will back-pedal frantically

Still no one will be very convinced

Then a great smiting of unwed mums

And of idle youngsters shall occur

Teachers will be rigidly assessed

And everything shall be tinkered with

Many will drown in memoranda,

Leaflets and contracts of good conduct.

No job shall ever last for life

And men will talk to themselves on trains

A disaster on the cricket field

A prince of rugby will be disgraced

The King of Sky shall take a young wife

And the chattering classes snicker

The four-wheel will hold sway over all.

The big shops will eat many small shops

Men will argue on roads where none move

Yet buses and trains will still be crap.

'Black Shuck' by Martin Newell, available from Jardine Press, The Roundhouse,

Lower Raydon Hadleigh, Suffolk IP7 5QN, pounds 6.95