The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Blaine begins starvation stunt

London, Sept. 6 (Reuters): Illusionist David Blaine yesterday embarked on his most daring stunt — 44 days of starvation and solitary confinement in a glass box hung from a crane.

Suspended for more than six weeks in a plexi-glass prison beside London’s Thames river, the “modern-day Houdini” will eat no food and have just one tube for water and another for urinating.

The American escapologist, who has buried himself alive in a glass coffin, been encased in a giant block of ice and thrown himself off a 10-storey pillar onto cardboard boxes, believes this is the most dangerous feat he has ever attempted.

Before stepping into his glass box before hundreds of rain-soaked fans, the 30-year-old New Yorker said: “The first three weeks of this I am pretty sure I can handle. It is the last three that are going to be insane.”

The magician, who plans to keep a journal during his isolation, is worried about how the self-imposed ordeal could harm his body. “When your body really depletes everything, when you rip through all your fat stores and muscle tissue that you need, you begin to get hungry again,” he said at the site beside London’s historic Tower Bridge.

“The hunger comes back and it’s your body’s way of warning you that you are in danger. That idea is a little bit scary to me,” he confessed before his first major stunt performed outside the US.

Bookmakers William Hill believe the illusionist is an odds-on hot favourite to complete his 44-day ordeal but the Guinness Book of Records has rejected his stunt as it does not encourage starvation record attempts. London mayor Ken Livingstone felt that Blaine’s stunt could prove offensive to the relatives of Irish Republican Army extremists who starved themselves to death in protest over British rule in Northern Ireland.

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