Security surrounding daredevil David Blaine's ABOVE THE BELOW endurance feat in London has been tightened after members of the public began pelting food at his glass cage.

The illusionist, who is spending 44 days suspended 30 feet (9 metres) above the River Thames in a 7 feet by 7 feet by 3 feet (2.1metres by 2.1 metres by 1.1 metres) box on a diet of just fresh water, has had to watch as visitors to the site fire golf balls, bottles, eggs and verbal abuse at him.

Organisers have been forced to erect a wire cage around the area directly below Blaine and add an extra five guards to the already 15-strong force protecting the American - fearing a gunman may try to target him.

The reaction has left Blaine' girlfriend, model MANON VON GERKAN, distraught.

The German, who is spending 16 hours a day by the Thames, says of vandals, "It's outrageous. I don't understand why they are doing it."

And a member of the security team adds, "We're worried somebody might try something even more stupid, like firing an air rifle at him, or something worse.

"We've had to break up two fights and people have been throwing bottles and eggs."

Blaine, 30, is set to make around $8 million (GBP5 million) from exclusive television rights to the feat.

08/09/2003 13:38