The former host of popular UK kids show Art Attack has been forced to deny a wild internet theory that he is elusive graffiti artist Banksy.
Fans became convinced over the weekend that TV presenter, artist and ’90s icon Neil Buchanan, 58, is Banksy’s alter-ego.
Buchanan’s website has since been stamped with a stern official denial asserting that he is NOT the secret identity behind the street artist who also rose to prominence in the 1990s.
RELATED: Banksy’s epic virus art on the London tube
RELATED: Rude hidden message in ’90s kids show
It comes after a random theory claiming he is the artist went viral.
Like many theories surrounding Banksy’s identity, it is unclear exactly where this one came from, but fans looking for any form of light in the horror year that is 2020 are clinging to it desperately.
The rumours gathered momentum this weekend after a series of tweets pointed out that Buchanan’s band has performed in a number of locations where Banksy’s artwork was also discovered.
A statement on Buchanan’s website reads: “Neil Buchanan is NOT Banksy,” in officious red writing.
It continues: “PLEASE NOTE: We have been inundated with inquiries over the weekend regarding the current social media story. Unfortunately this website does not have the infrastructure to answer all these inquiries individually, however we can confirm that there is no truth in the rumour whatsoever.”
So was there ever any weight behind the claim?
In the past, many have said the street artist lives in Bristol or London, while others have remained adamant that he does live in Liverpool, where Buchanan is from.
The most supported theories over the years, however, point to Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja or artist Robin Gunningham.
Others say Banksy is actually a collection of artists posing as one.
It’s not the first time someone has linked Buchanan – the affable and enthusiastic host of Art Attack from 1990 to 2007 – to Banksy, but this may be the most aggressively supported it’s been.
“They say not to believe everything you read online but I 100 per cent believe this. Don’t even need to look up the cities for confirmation. Neil is Banksy, Banksy is Neil,” one Art Attack superfan wrote.
Another even said they had seen Banksy around 20 years ago, admitting they wouldn’t be able to identify him now. This encouraged the poster of the original tweet.
“In the late nineties/early noughties, someone pointed Banksy out to me at the Notting Hill Arts Club. I also saw him doing a stencil outside my flat in Hoxton at around the same time (hood up). Could I pick him out of a line-up? Absolutely not,” they wrote.
The original poster replied: “So you wouldn’t deny that it’s Neil even though you’ve seen Banksy? This is big.”
“If only he’d been wearing his Art Attack jumper,” they responded.