Never again, says Blaine as end of his stunt draws nigh

David Blaine admitted yesterday that his latest stunt, suspended in a plastic box for 44 days near Tower Bridge, is the hardest he has attempted.

As he looked forward to the end of his ordeal - during which he has eaten no food, confining himself to water only - the illusionist said: "I have never decided to do anything for this length of time. Here, basically, I am a human being on display to all kinds at all times."

He told CNN: "It's been really cold. It has been down to 40F, and when you are starving your body only produces one-third of its heat.

"It's really hard to sit, and all of my muscles are really weak. This whole thing has been so much more difficult than anything else I have ever done ... and I don't think I can do anything like this again."

The 30-year-old American, whose previous "tricks" included spending three days sealed in a block of ice, denied his latest London escapade was an illusion.

He said: "No, I am really here doing what I said I was going to do."

Blaine also admitted being surprised by the reactions of some members of the public who have embraced the new national pastime of "Blaine-baiting".

Missiles have been thrown at him and drums beaten to keep him awake and he said the backlash was a "little scar" at the start, although he swiftly became used to it because "it's to be expected".

The best aspects of being confined in a clear box were "the faces, the moon, the sun, the rainbows, the clouds".

He added: "I am just climbing a mountain and trying to get to the top. God willing, I sure will."

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