Madcap illusionist David Blaine has been snubbed by the world famous GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS, who deem his stunts are not appropriate for inclusion.

The magician - dubbed the modern-day HOUDINI - has asked for his death-defying feats to be recognised, but compilers have rejected his upcoming 44-day stint in a plastic box without food because they won't endorse fasting.

Previous Blaine feats - including his one-week spell buried underground - have also been dismissed, with Guinness insisting it could not match record titles already held.

Record keeper STEWART NEWPORT says, "We have never encouraged claims for the longest time to voluntarily go without solid food for very clear and obvious reasons.

"If you beat the 'record' and then die is it a successful attempt?

"We have from a reportage standpoint noted in past books various political, medical and criminal 'hunger strikes' - and all were for durations far in excess of 44 days."

Later today (05SEP03), Blaine will climb into a small Perspex box, suspended from a crane above the River Thames in London. He will then attempt to stay without food for more than six weeks, with no communication or distractions. His only nourishment will be from a tube feeding him water.

05/09/2003 09:21