The star becomes embroiled in a row with a photographer - and sacks his publicist as a result...

Paul McCartney found himself at the centre of a fracas last night after paying a midnight visit to illusionist DAVID BLAINE’s ‘starvation stunt’.

The former Beatle became embroiled in a row with London Evening Standard photographer Kevin Wheal at 1am this morning (19 September) after Wheal approached Paul McCartney with a camera on what had been intended to be a ‘private visit’.

Wheal told the BBC: “His friends – who seemed more like minders to me – grabbed hold of me and pushed my camera towards the ground.” Both parties are now claiming that the other assaulted them, and have complained to the police.

However, in a twist to the story, it turned out that Paul McCartney’s long-term publicist Geoff Baker had tipped Wheal off about a ‘photo opportunity’ without consulting Paul McCartney. According to reports, Paul McCartney sacked him on the spot.

Baker admitted that while the visit was intended to be private, he had “stupidly” tipped off Wheal about the visit to London’s South Bank. “Paul McCartneygot cross with me and told me I was fired,” he said. “He was incandescent.”

He continued: “When it transpired what I had done, Paul McCartney was then saying to the photographers ‘It’s not your fault, it’s our publicity guy’s fault’. Paul McCartney was rightfully angry with me and I haven’t spoken to him since. It’s now up to him as to whether I am still working for him – that’s his call. Last thing he shouted at me was that I was fired. There was a lot of swearing going on.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said in a statement: “Shortly before 1am today officers near the David Blaine stunt show became aware of a dispute between a group of friends, a photographer and other members of the public.

“Following the altercation we have received two counter allegations of common assault.

“The group of friends have alleged that they were assaulted by a man during the argument.

“He alleges that they assaulted him. Statements were taken at the scene. Walworth police are investigating and inquiries continue.”

David Blaine is currently suspended in a Perspex box above London, attempting to survive for 44 days without food.