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We’re living through strange times.
And in strange times, conspiracy theories often thrive.
One that got everyone going was that Neil Buchanan, of Art Attack fame was actually also world-famous anonymous street artist Banksy.
Anonymous street artist Banksy has spend decades creating art installations from the West Bank to the London Underground. The works often carry a political message.
Banksy put on a protest-style tea party in the occupied West Bank. Here's why: https://t.co/C1j7jk8kn0 — AJ+ (@AJ+)
"I get lockdown, but I get up again."
Banksy created a Chumbawamba-themed #COVID19 display in the London undergrou… https://t.co/yPOOSBJ4TQ — AJ+ (@AJ+)
Most recently – before the secret identity saga – he hit the headlines because he bought a refugee rescue boat, painted it pink and used it to help those stranded in the Mediterranean Sea.
Banksy strikes again—the artist recently purchased and decorated a bright pink migrant rescue boat that has already… https://t.co/qR96GGk5iQ — Museum of Anthropology at UBC (@Museum of Anthropology at UBC)
Neil Buchanan is also a legend in his own right. He hosted the popular programme Art Attack for 17 years from 1990-2007.
He still produces art, and has a new collection coming out in 2021, which is perhaps why some people believed rumours that he could be Banksy.
As with most rumours, it’s hard to tell.
Media outlets have reported that it started over the weekend, and this tweet from Friday seems to have kicked everything off.
Well, our Art Attack legend is also a musician and the Twitter user says that Banksy’s art installations have been in the same cities that Neil Buchanan performed in.
However, the account that posted this also posted many of the news articles about the conspiracy theory afterwards, which is a little weird.
It’s also worth noting that this might not be the first time this rumour has come around.
One Twitter user said they had come up with the theory 11 years ago.
Can I just say that I made the Neil Buchanan is Banksy joke 11 years ago and I feel SEEN. https://t.co/AKSXtDZWUQ — Angharad Salazar (@Angharad Salazar)
And someone else asked the question on Twitter all the way back in 2017.
Is Neil from Art Attack Banksy? — Chris Stark (@Chris Stark)
Neil Buchanan – that’s the Art Attack star (we know, many artists, much confusion) – released a statement saying “there was no truth” in the rumour whatsoever.
Why do people still believe the rumour if Neil himself has denied it?
Some have pointed out that’s exactly what Banksy would say....
That’s exactly what someone who actually is Bansky would say https://t.co/xJ1kCWC0kc — Megs (@Megs)
Well if he WAS Banksy he wouldn't very well tell us would he. I still believe https://t.co/ciT8OgRd6u — Lucy (@Lucy)
Others have evidence-based reasons.
If you don’t believe the Banksy/Neil Buchanan story. We had this text sent into the show. Remember, he’s never goin… https://t.co/Lj9CJpKPqP — Sparky 📻 (@Sparky 📻)
But maybe, the biggest reason some people still believe the rumour is that it’s been a tough year, and we could all do with some nice, fun news.
Neil Buchanan being accused of being Banksy is the 2020 we all deserved — cat (@cat)
Not quite secret, but Neil Buchanan was also a character called Smarty Arty in a 1996 series that was repeated on television in 1998.
None others that we're aware of though...
Nobody knows for sure, but people have used the rumour circulating to give their own guesses of who Banksy is.
Many of the suggestions are very tongue-in-cheek. Other children’s presenters were thrown into the mix.
What a ridiculous idea that Banksy is really Art Attack's Neil Buchanan. Everyone knows it's Art Ninja.… https://t.co/z7MBGLsYS9 — Gareth P Jones (@Gareth P Jones)
Oh come on, this "Neil Buchanan is Banksy" rumour is utterly stupid. We all know who's REALLY Banksy. https://t.co/Kdz9S9Vafj — plot armour (@plot armour)
For a long time, many have suspected Robert Del Naja, sometimes called 3D who co-founded trip hip hop band Massive Attack, but the two claim to be friends.
Others think it’s more likely to be Bristolian artist Robin Gunningham.
It’s also been suggested in the past that Banksy isn’t one person but a group of artists.
You can see more of the here.
Or you can continue believing it’s Neil Buchanan. Whatever it takes to get you through 2020.