Published: 18:21, 07 September 2020
| Updated: 18:30, 07 September 2020
Children's TV icon Neil Buchanan has denied being mysterious street artist Banksy.
The former Art Attack host who delighted younger generations for years from his Maidstone Studios set had been at the centre of a bizarre online theory that has gathered traction in recent weeks.
Buchanan, 58, was in a heavy metal band called Marseille early in his career and rumours of his alter ego appear to stem from the fact the Bristol-based artist's works popped up in locations where the group played.
Posting today on www.neilbuchanan.co.uk his team wrote: "Neil Buchanan is NOT Banksy.
"We have been inundated with enquiries over the weekend regarding the current social media story. 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.
"Neil spent lockdown with vulnerable members of his family and is now preparing to launch his new art collection in 2021.
"Thank you and please stay safe."
Buchanan shot to fame as the charismatic host of Art Attack in 1990 after the success of a pilot filmed at a disused swimming pool in Gillingham the previous year.
He continued to host the show, which became known for its talking clay head and huge outdoor impromptu art installations.
Banksy's career also began in 1990 and he remains active with many of his works being snapped up for millions of pounds. But his identity has always been a secret.
Last year his massive Brexit mural in Dover was whitewashed, prompting the artist to speak out.
Most recently he funded a boat to rescue refugees in the Mediterranean.