Twitter theory claims Art Attack presenter Neil Buchanan is Banksy - here’s why

Could the former Art Attack presenter be Banksy? (Photo: Art Attack/Banksy)

From QAnon to Pizzagate, Twitter is no stranger to a good conspiracy theory.

The latest to sweep the social media platform is that secretive street artist Banksy is none other than Neil Buchanan, host of children’s TV series Art Attack.

This is what the theory says - and whether Buchanan could actually be the masked graffiti artist.

What does the theory say?

The theory began circulating on Twitter last week, when one user tweeted: “Just heard that it’s rumoured Neil Buchanan is Banksy. If true, it’s the funniest s*** ever. Aintree’s finest.”

The Twitter user explains that Buchanan is a musician, and that Banksy art has followed in the cities he has done shows in, allegedly.

Buchanan was a former member of heavy metal band Marseille.

The user wrote: “This is straight in the believe without question category.”

The tweet has garnered 9.1k likes and 2.2k retweets since it was posted on 4 September.

Others responded to the theory, adding more information that point to Buchanan being the real identity of Banksy.

One person wrote, “Neil Buchanan WAS known for his big outdoor pieces utilising multimedia props and items to craft uncanny replicas”, referring to Buchanan’s work on TV show Art Attack.

Others weren’t quite as convinced.

One person wrote: “Can’t be… not seen any Banksy art work with bog roll tubes or polyester cups used in an imaginative way.”

Another tweeted: “Banksy’s from Bristol and Neil Buchanan is a Scouser that lives in Sussex. As much as I’d love it to be true, I don’t think it is. Sorry.”

Buchanan’s website acknowledges the theory and states that there “is no truth in the rumour whatsoever”.

Who is Neil Buchanan?

Buchanan is best known for being the presenter on children’s TV show Art Attack, which he co-created, during its original run from 1990 to 2007.

Buchanan has also appeared in other TV shows, such as Motormouth, Finders Keepers, Animal Crazy and It’s a Mystery.

He is an ambassador for the Prince’s Foundation for Children and Arts.

Buchanan’s website states that he has spent lockdown with vulnerable members of his family and is preparing to launch his new art collection in 2021.

Who really is Banksy?

Banksy’s identity is currently unknown, but there are various theories about who the artist might actually be.

In 2017, it appeared that musician Goldie might have accidentally let slip who Banksy was during an interview on Scroobius Pip’s weekly Distraction Pieces podcast.

Goldie said: “Give me a bubble letter and put it on a t-shirt and write Banksy on it and we’re sorted.

“We can sell it now… No disrespect to Robert, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over.”

After saying the name Robert, Goldie paused before changing the subject.

Reports claim that the Robert that Goldie is referring to is Robert Del Naja, a member of the band Massive Attack. Del Naja, also known as 3D, is a friend of Goldie and they worked together as graffiti artists during the late 1980s.

In 2016, journalist Craig Williams launched a five month investigation into the identity of Banksy, and also concluded that Del Naja was behind the mask.

Williams claimed that Banky wasn’t just one person, but instead a team of street artists, with Del Naja acting as the leader.

Del Naja has denied this claim, saying that it would be “a good story, but sadly not true”.

A version of this article appeared on our sister title the Yorkshire Evening Post