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PICK OF THE BOX: PROFILE - Step inside the mind of Blaine.

David Blaine: Above The Below (Channel 4, 9.00 pm)YESTERDAY magician and illusionist David Blaine ended his self-imposed 44-day exile in a glass box near London's Tower Bridge.

It was an extraordinary feat of endurance by the American.

And if you're one of the millions who wonders why on earth he did it and what could possibly have inspired him to virtually starve himself, the answer might come in this documentary.

Filmed by renowned film director Harmony Korine, the programme followed the build-up to Blaine's exit from his plexi-glass box before his team pulled him out of solitary confinement and back into the outside world.

Cameras followed him to hospital and witnessed his first few hours out of his self-imposed prison.

The programme tries to find out how he survived the gruelling challenge and what kept him going during a personal journey on a public stage. We also see footage of Blaine's magic on the streets of London.

DRAMA Pompeii The Last Day (BBC1, 9.00 pm) NOT, sadly, Up Pompeii with FrankieHowerd. Instead, this is yet another journey back to ancient Rome by the Beeb.

Pompeii The Last Day uses state-ofthe-art special effects and drama reconstruction for an epic journey into the heart of one of the most destructive volcanic eruptions in history.

On August 24, AD79, the magnificent Roman cities of Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum came to a devastating end.

In just 18 hours, the entire city of Pompeii and all of its inhabitants were buried in volcanic ash.

The twin cities lay undisturbed under metres of volcanic debris for more than 1500 years.

The seal of wet ash preserved public structures, temples, theatres, baths, shops and private dwellings, as well as the remains of some of the victims, including gladiators, soldiers, slaves, their masters and entire families.

Based on archaeological evidence along with the writings of Pliny the Younger, the drama takes viewers through the main stages of the cataclysmic eruption of Vesuvius, a volcano that hadn't erupted in more than 1500 years.

CHAT Offside (BBC1 Scotland, 10.35 pm) THE Record's newly-slimline Tam Cowan is back with his footballfanzine show. And Tam's not the only one sporting a new look. Offside has been given a makeover, but fans of Tam's biting wit and slagging off of Scottish footie can rest easy that hasn't changed.

Jonathan Watson continues to mimic football's characters better than the victims themselves with Only A Wee Excuse, and Jock the Cock displays his dazzling plumage in front of the studio audience.

Tam's guest tonight is legendary manager and wordsmith Jim Leishman, now back at his spiritual home of Dunfermline as general manager after helping guide Livingston into the Scottish Premierleague.

TRAVEL Holiday 2003 (BBC1, 7.00 pm) HERE'S a helping hand if you're already planning next summer's holidays.

And they won't all break the bank the way Holiday's Top 10 luxury holidays might have.

Craig Doyle is back at the helm and tonight he's jetting off to St Tropez in the south of France to see if that glamorous destination really lives up to its reputation.

Elsewhere, Jennifer Cox is exploring Cambodia while a family embark on the first year of an ambitious gap year abroad.


BOXED IN: David Blaine: Above The Below (Channel 4, 9.00 pm) takes a look at the star's 44-day exile
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 20, 2003
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