HE has entertained tourists from around the globe in the heart of one of Yorkshire’s most popular destinations.
But now York’s famous Purple Man has had to recruit a security company after coming under attack from drunken pranksters.
From today the street artist, who sits statue-like astride his bike on the city’s Stonegate, can count on the protection of a security guard.
He says he feels a responsibility to protect families around him who often bear the brunt of alcohol-fuelled attacks.
It comes after one child was recently nearly hit on the head with a large wooden object.
Extra police patrols were laid on in the city centre earlier this year amid rising concerns that rowdiness - often involving drunken stag and hen parties - was deterring people from coming into the city on weekends.
Purple Man said if the attacks continued he may have to get on his bike.
He said: “It’s challenging to share my inner-happiness with my audience when I’m concerned about drunken attacks.
“My mission is to make people happy from the inside and give them a great memory of their time in this stunning city and meeting Purple Man.
“We live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the local people and visitors are fantastic.
“The enjoyment of people should come first and this is under-threat from booze-fuelled race-goers, stag and hen parties and football fans.
“If this situation continues and someone gets hurt while meeting me I may have to cycle off for good.”