The UN has just announced that it is to launch a Worldwide talent hunt in the hope of discovering a "James Bond style" super villain in the hope of unifying Mankind against an appallingly dangerous common enemy whilst simultaneously providing some truly world class entertainment.
Speaking today at UN Headquarters Ban Ki-moon said "Received wisdom suggests that when confronted with a Global threat of either terrestrial or extraterrestrial origin the people of the World put aside their differences, pool their resources, kick the bad guy's butt and, who knows, maybe even share a Coke afterwards. We've been hoping for an alien invasion for decades but it's looking increasingly unlikely so we've decided to manufacture an apocalyptic force of awe-inspiring evil instead. You know, anything Simon Cowell can do. "
Organisers of the competition say that applicants should possess a fearsome intellect, an immense ego, oodles of charisma, inexhaustable ambition, a fondness for dangerous exotic pets and a can-do attitude. Whilst psychopathic tendencies are an advantage they say that an obssessive interest in rare, expensive wines is an acceptable substitute as it ammounts to the same thing.
Once selected the successful candidate will be provided with "more-or-less" unlimited funds, a personal army and the services of many of of the World's most brilliant yet morally bankrupt scientists, engineers, computer experts and tailors. Together they will develop a scheme by which the newly-crowned Ultimate Super Villain can threaten the safety of the World in the most ingenious, ruthless and stylish way imaginable.
The Secretary-General also revealed that a second competition will be held to fulfill the role of henchman-in-chief for the diabolical genius. "Basically what we're looking for is a novelty assassin. A cold-hearted killer with a really cool murderous gimmick. You could end up being an action figure so try to think of something that will appeal to the imaginations of schoolkids. No lethal clothing though - that's old hat," he laughs.
And Mr Ki-moon has reassuring words for those concerned about the possibility of the master criminal actually succeeding in his ambitions for global domination. "It won't happen. He'll have to sign a legally-binding document preventing him from doing so. He has to promise to mysteriously disappear and leave a vague threat of a possible future re-appearance. Don't worry, we've thought of everything. Nothing can go wrong."