Illusionist David Blaine will be unable to eat a meal for a fortnight after he leaves his box later today (19OCT03) - because his body won't stomach solid food after 44 days of starvation.

The American magician will be placed on a fluid drip and then will move onto mashed food packed with vitamins and carbohydrates to restore his strength following his ABOVE THE BELOW stunt.

Blaine, 30, has lost nearly 19 kilograms (three stone) while he has been suspended above London's RIVER THAMES in a Perspex box.

And doctors say he will have be carried from the box while wearing an oxygen mask at the end of the stunt because his body will be so weak.

Blaine's chief medical officer PAUL KENNY says, "He is really suffering from the cold, his feet are hurting because of bad circulation and he is in a poor state of health.

"This is the hardest point for him as his body starts to relax knowing it is nearly over."

On Friday (17OCT03), Blaine wrote 'I have God on my side' on the wall of his box, while onlookers saw him fall over.

One says, "He struggled to his feet but his legs buckled and he crashed to the floor. His medical team looked shocked at his state of health."

Blaine will recuperate in the LONDON INDEPENDENT HOSPITAL in the east of the city - at a cost of $1,600 (GBP1,000) per night.

19/10/2003 10:46