Recovering illusionist David Blaine has thwarted attempts from spoonbending "pal" Uri Geller to visit him in hospital - dismissing him as a "hanger on".

The American magician is currently languishing in a private London hospital as he slowly returns to fitness after spending 44 days starving in a Perspex box suspended above the River Thames.

And soon after he emerged from his ABOVE THE BELOW stunt on Sunday (19OCT03) he reportedly banned Geller from rushing to his bedside.

A source tells British tabloid The Sun, "Geller has been hanging around David during this project so much that it is really starting to annoy him. It is fair to say that David is finding Geller a pain. He couldn't do much about it when he was in the box, but David would not want to see Uri in hospital."

One of Blaine's security team at the London stunt adds, "We've been told to treat Uri like any member of the public. He tells people he's David's mate. But Blaine's complained he is a 'hanger-on' and wants nothing to do with him."

Blaine's publicist PAT SMITH confirms, "David says Uri was an early role model but he has no connection to the endurance challenge and in no way inspired David's current activities."

But Geller says, "How can anyone say I've had no involvement with David when I was talking to him the day he went in the box? Each time he saw me he'd raise his thumb and smile. I have called the hospital, but I did not try to speak to him because he is recuperating."

22/10/2003 02:03