The rick-rolling phenomenon knows no bounds, it seems: Macys department store played a prank on crowds gathered outside its store enjoying the carnival atmosphere by drafting in 80s popstar and reluctant YouTube sensation Rick Astley.

The Thanksgiving Day procession started off in its usual manner, with oversized cartoon characters on floats entertaining the crowds. Gradually, however, the atmosphere changed as a sombrely-clad figure emerged from the Technicolor Foster Home For Imaginary Friends. To growing applause and not a little imitative dancing, Rick Astley took to the stage and started singing Never Gonna Give You Up.

Fans of the YouTube video-sharing website have already scored a major triumph by helping Astley's chart-topping 1986 hit Never Gonna Give You Up rack up millions of views.

October saw the shy popstar named as Best Act Ever at the MTV Europe music awards, also based on his song and distinctive dancing's popularity with online music fans.

Rick-rolling began when the video for Astley's already popular but two decades-old song began making unannounced appearances in otherwise innocent-looking links. Rick rollers would post links for their friends, hoping they'd share the joke when what they thought would be a dull missive on why all this rain is good for the British economy turned out to be a link to the YouTube clip.

Now all we need is some bright spark to find a way to incorporate LOLCATs into Christmas.