It has been one of the strangest and most interesting fan theories in some time. But after several days of intense speculation, the latest rumour to set the internet on fire – that children’s TV presenter and musician Neil Buchanan is Banksy – has been proved false.
The word came not from Buchanan himself – known to a generation as the presenter of kids’ show Art Attack – but from his official website.
“Neil Buchanan is NOT Banksy,” it states in bright-red lettering.
Adding, “PLEASE NOTE: 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.”
It’s unclear where the rumours started, but they seemed to gather pace after Twitter user @Scouseman repeated them this weekend. He tweeted: “Just heard that it’s rumoured Neil Buchanan is Banksy,” adding: “He's a musician and art has followed in the cities of shows he's done allegedly.”
After that the rumour was repeated across the internet, with one story even popping up in Chile.
Just heard that it's rumoured Neil Buchanan is Banksy. If true, it's the funniest shit ever. Aintree's finest.— Scouseman (@ScouseMan_) September 4, 2020
He's a musician and art has followed in the cities of shows he's done allegedly.
This is straight in the believe without question category . pic.twitter.com/LWU48wGekR
It’s not the first time a musician has been accused of being Banksy. Back in 2016, journalist Craig Williams claimed he had proof that the artist was Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack. Again the connection was the cities the band had visited and the artwork that appeared afterwards.
Williams later went on to say he didn’t mean he thought Naja was Banksy, but instead that he was part of a collective that worked together to create works that were all signed by the artist.
Banksy’s own Instagram account has stayed quiet during the Buchanan rumours. He last posted on 29 August about the rescue boat the Louse Michel, which has been working to rescue refugees stranded at sea.
When Neil Buchanan’s website finally released its statement of denial, the Twitter user Scouseman did issue a slight apology, albeit a rather insincere one, about how he was sorry that he had “ruined the website admin’s weekend”.
And there we have it. Sorry for ruining the website admin's weekend 😭😂 https://t.co/Aa841Sa2jz— Scouseman (@ScouseMan_) September 7, 2020
Over the years there has been much speculation, but Banksy has remained anonymous while still being an active campaigner. He even let himself be filmed back in July to encourage people to wear masks.