The VICE Guide to Right Now

People Think the Guy From ‘Art Attack’ Is Banksy

The theory started gaining traction after a netizen claimed that Banksy artworks appeared in places where former “Art Attack” host Neil Buchanan’s former band would perform. 
September 8, 2020, 12:10pm
British television presenter Neil Buchanan of the series Art Attack, circa 1990. Photo: Tim Roney / Getty Images

Remember Art Attack? The popular British TV show where host Neil Buchanan, an enthusiastic man in a red sweater, taught children how to make small and large-scale artworks? Well, while the only mystery around the show during its heyday in the 90s and early 2000s was whether or not PVA glue was just regular glue, it seems there is a new question on people’s minds in 2020. Apparently, some people now think that Buchanan is also the anonymous England-based street artist Banksy.


The theory started gaining traction after someone claimed that Banksy artworks suddenly appeared in places where Buchanan's former band, Marseille, would perform, BBC News reported.

Another user, @BonsaiTreehouse jumped in and speculated that this could be true because of Buchanan’s experience with quick outdoor art installations.

Many found the rumour amusing and joked about the idea of Buchanan being Banksy.

Banksy is known for experimental artworks like satirical street art, usually involving a stencilling technique, and Buchanan’s certainly got the skills for that.

As the host of Art Attack from 1990 to 2007, he taught kids how to make 3-D Picasso-style portraits, medieval lettering, and an interactive Valentine’s Day card. There’s even a segment in every episode called “Big Art Attack” wherein he creates large street art using everyday items like clothes, powder, and cardboard boxes.

To this day, Banksy’s real identity is still unknown but some websites have presumed that it could be Brooklyn artist Richard Pfieffer, Thierry Guetta, aka Mr. Brainwash who starred in Banksy’s documentary Exit Through The Giftshop, and Robert Del Naja, frontman of the electronic music band Massive Attack.

But, alas, after much speculation on social media, Buchanan set the record straight and put the conspiracy to rest.

“Neil Buchanan is NOT Banksy,” a statement on his website says. “We have been inundated with enquiries over the weekend regarding the current social media story. Unfortunately, this website does not have the infrastructure to answer all these enquiries individually, however, we can confirm that there is no truth in the rumour whatsoever.”

Buchanan spent the coronavirus lockdown with family while preparing for a new art collection slated for 2021. On the other hand, a Banksy artwork was last spotted in July, when graffiti appeared on a London underground train, encouraging passengers to wear a face mask. It was later removed by the Transport for London (TfL).

Find Lia on Twitter and Instagram.