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21st Nov 2023

Banksy identity ‘revealed’ in 2003 interview shared by BBC for first time

Charlie Herbert

Banksy identity 'revealed' in 2003 interview shared by BBC for first time

‘Are you happy for me to use your name?’

The BBC has released an interview for the first time in which with Banksy appears to confirm his identity.

The Bristol-born artist is known across the world for his unique graffiti-style work seen from London to New York and even his hometown.

There have been many theories over the years as to who Banksy may be, but the artist has managed to remain anonymous to this day.

But it turns out he may have actually revealed his identity some 20 years ago during an interview with the BBC.

Back in 2003, Banksy took part in an interview with Radio 4’s PM programme whilst he was working on his East London show, Turf War.

Banksy has created some of the most iconic pieces of art from the last 20 years (Getty)

He spoke to former BBC arts correspondent Nigel Wrench about the anti-authority nature of his work, which has come to define his masterpieces over the years, and also seemed to confirm his first name.

Now, the broadcaster has released the full interview on BBC Sounds as The Banksy Story.

When Wrench asks Banksy if he is “happy for me to use your name,” the artist replies: “Yeah.”

“Is it Robert Banks?” the journalist continued, to which Banksy replied: “It’s Robbie.” “Robbie. OK. Robbie,” Wrench added.

It was reported by the Daily Mail earlier this year that Banksy had been named as 53-year-old Robin Gunningham in High Court documents.

The publication reported that Gunningham, who was previously rumoured to be Banksy, was named as the first defendant in a legal action accusing the artist of defamation.

And in 2019, ITV shared video footage from an 2003 interview they did with a man who claimed to be Banksy.

It has also been rumoured over the years that Massive Attack member Robert Del Naja, also known as 3D, is Banksy, or even that Art Attack’s Neil Buchanan is the mysterious graffitist.

Banksy, who started off producing art work in Bristol back in 1990 moved to London in the late 90s where he began building a name for himself.

By the early 2000’s Banksy was the most recognisable graffiti artist in the UK.

In 2003, he snuck into the Tate and installed one of his own works while dressed as a pensioner.

The following year, he snuck into the Louvre and hung up his own version of the Mona Lisa.

In 2010, Banksy relocated to New York and became the biggest graffiti artist in the world.

Related links:

One-of-a-kind Banksy artwork worth £10m destroyed by Christopher Walken on TV show

Terminally-ill dad who mooned speed camera honoured with ‘new Banksy’