A lost BBC interview with the elusive street artist Banksy has been found, hinting at what might be his first name. The 2003 recording, part of Radio 4’s The Banksy Story, features the artist responding to BBC reporter Nigel Wrench’s inquiry about his name with a nonchalant “It’s Robbie.”
For years, Banksy’s true identity has been the subject of intense speculation, with various suggestions online ranging from Robin to Robert. Now, this rediscovered interview offers fans, including numerous A-list celebrities, a rare opportunity to hear Banksy’s voice and perhaps a clue about his moniker.
In the bonus episode of The Banksy Story podcast, which was specially recorded after the discovery, Banksy drew an unexpected analogy between his approach to art and microwaving meals. “It’s quick,” he explained, emphasizing his desire to “get it done and dusted.” This insight into Banksy’s mindset sheds light on his unconventional and rapid graffiti style.
The lost BBC interview, conducted by former arts correspondent Nigel Wrench in the summer of 2003 to coincide with Banksy’s Turf War show in east London, was initially edited for broadcast on the BBC’s PM program in July of the same year. However, the complete interview, stored on a minidisc, remained unheard until recently.
Banksy defends his unconventional art form in the interview, stating, “I’m not here to apologize for it.” He sees vandalism as a quick and impactful way to convey a message, drawing a parallel to his mother’s approach to cooking. “It takes hours to make it, minutes to eat,” he noted, likening it to creating art efficiently.
When questioned about the legality of graffiti, Banksy’s advice is unconventional yet straightforward: “Go out! Trash things! Have fun!” He even suggests that others have the power to paint over his work, embracing the transient nature of street art.
This rediscovered interview provides a unique glimpse into Banksy’s early years and adds another layer to the mystery surrounding the world-renowned street artist.