Art Attack presenter Neil Buchanan denies being Banksy after bizarre conspiracy theory

ART Attack presenter Neil Buchanan has been forced to deny claims that he's Banksy after a bizarre conspiracy theory swept the internet.

Mystery has surrounded the real identity of the street artist for years – and now Twitter users have suggested it's actually 58-year-old Buchanan, who hosted the kid's TV show between 1990 to 2007.

Since then, the star has been "inundated" by people asking if it's true – and he's now had to release a statement to say there's "no truth" to the claim.

Rumours began to circle online last week when one social media user said it was "rumoured" Buchanan was behind artworks like Balloon Girl and Kissing Coppers.

The user, who uses the handle Scouseman, said: "Just heard that it’s rumoured Neil Buchanan is Banksy.

“If true, it’s the funniest s*** ever. Aintree’s finest… This is straight in the believe without question category.”

The user explained Buchanan, like Banksy, is a musician – a former member of metal band Marseille.

Art "has followed in cities of shows he has done", they said.

The claim then swept the internet, with one person arguing Buchanan is known for his "big outdoor pieces utilising multimedia props".

“I’m here for this conspiracy theory," wrote another user.

Now Buchanan has flatly denied the claims in a statement posted to his website.

"We have been inundated with enquiries over the weekend regarding the current social media story," he said.

"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."

Names in the frame

Banksy’s true identity isn’t known – although several people have been suggested as possibilities

Robin Gunningham

Bristol artist Robin Gunningham was thought to be Banksy after criminologists at London’s Queen Mary University used ‘geographic profiling’ in an attempt to reveal his identity.

The technique uses statistical analysis used in police work to locate repeat offenders.

The researchers looked for signs of correlation between 140 artworks in London and Bristol that have been attributed to Bansky, finding stylistic similarities between the two.

3D – Robert Del Naja

Drum and bass star Goldie is thought to have revealed Banksy’s identity as the Massive Attack star known as 3D in an interview in 2017.

The band’s founding member and Goldie have been friends for a long time and were both graffiti artists in the late 1980s.

In an interview with spoken word poet Scroobius Pip for a podcast Del Naja 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."

Journalist Craig Williams had previously carried out an investigation into Banksy and concluded that Banksy was not just one person but a team of street artists with Del Naja, 52, as the ringleader.

Del Naja has occasionally designed the artwork for Massive Attack’s albums, including 2010’s Heligoland which featured stencil art not dissimilar to Banksy’s style.

Del Naja though as denied the rumour saying it was “greatly exaggerated”.

Richard Pfeiffer

The New York spraypainter Pfeiffer was spotted in front of a mural done by Banksy in March 2015 and was accused of being the famous artist by the cops.

Thierry Guetta

The French graffiti artist living in Los Angeles, who is also known as Mr Brainwash, is seen in Banksy's documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop.

The film tells the story of Guetta and his obsession with documenting his life on film.

Some though think Guetta and Banksy are the same person.

The notion it is Guetta springs from the idea that the hapless artist was only feigning mediocrity in the film and it was really Banksy hiding in plain sight.

Graffiti artist in Australia

YouTube user Mia S claimed she had caught Banksy in the act after believing she had filmed the artist in Melbourne, Australia.

The footage shows a bespectacled man in jeans, a dark jacket, hoodie and a cap.

She approaches the graffiti artist before he tells her to “f**k off” and flees the scene.

There are plenty of theories about the identity of Bristolian Banksy.

He has given fans one brief glimpse of himself in an unearthed TV interview from 17 years ago.

The footage was filmed in 2003 ahead of his Turf War exhibition – but then lay in a vault for nearly two decades.

The artist has had a busy year, unveiling new artworks on a hospital wall and in an underground train carriage.

Last month, more than 200 migrants were rescued from Banksy's boat after it became stranded in the Mediterranean.

Hundreds of people were rescued from the Louise Michel and transferred to another humanitarian ship, while others were helped by the Italian Coastguard.

The vessel was bought with the proceeds of some of Banksy's works and is captained by a professional crew with a "flat hierarchy and a vegan diet".

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