Banksy: a celebrated anti-establishment street artist, satirical graffitist, film director and man best known for being, well, unknown. Until now, perhaps.
A lost ITV interview from 2003 has resurfaced, featuring a Bristol artist claiming to be Banksy just before his breakthrough Turf War exhibition opened. Although the man’s face isn’t completely visible – everything apart from his dark eyes and a tuft of light brown hair is covered by a jumper and baseball cap – the clip may offer a rare glimpse of the elusive artist.
In the short 35-second clip, the anonymous man can be seen working on two pieces attributed to Banksy: a black insect on a wall, and a baby playing with alphabet blocks spelling “KILL MORE.”
“I’m disguised because you can’t really be a graffiti writer and then go public,” he tells reporter Haig Gordon. “The two things don’t quite go together.”
After being questioned about placing the words “Designated Riot Area” by Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square, the man replies: “I thought that was quite funny.”
“You don’t mind if I pass your details on to the police?” Gordan then asks.
“No. What details have you got?” the disguised man answers.
Speaking recently to ITV News about the 16-year-old interview, Gordan said: “I saw his face. The only problem is I can’t remember what his face looked like. I don’t think I could say a single thing about what he looked like. Isn’t that dreadful?
“He was relaxed, he was laid-back, he was amicable. I quite took to him. I was dreading a pretentious arty-farty type, but he was very pleasant. He reacted very well when I made a joke just before the camera was rolling.
“I said ‘Right, Banksy, what will you do if I take that [the T-shirt] off during the interview?’ and he just laughed, he knew I wasn’t meaning it. But I wish I had, because that would have been extremely valuable.”
In response to the video, Banksy’s team told the PA: “No comment. We get loads of these.”