In Old Interview, Banksy Reveals Name Is 'Robbie'

BBC reporter unearths 2003 clip
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2023 7:24 AM CST
In Old Interview, Banksy Says His Name Is 'Robbie'
This 2013 file photo shows "Flower Girl," a stencil on a massive brick wall by street artist Banksy, displayed in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon,File)

The world knows him as Banksy. Friends and family, apparently, call him "Robbie." The BBC has unearthed a never-before-heard audio clip of the UK graffiti artist in which he purportedly reveals his first name. The clip is from 2003, when the BBC's Nigel Wrench interviewed Banksy (or at least the person believed to be Banksy) and asked him to confirm a report in the Independent that his real name was Robert Banks, per NME. "It's Robbie," he replies. The full material is in the "Lost Banksy Interview," which the BBC has added as a bonus episode to its podcast series The Banksy Story. After the series wrapped up in July, Wrench went back and relistened to his full recording and discovered the new material.

Elsewhere in the interview, Banksy defends vandalism as an artform. "I'm not here to apologize for it," he tells Wrench. "It's a quicker way of making your point, right?" Back in 2008, the Mail on Sunday reported that Banksy's real name was Robin Gunningham and that he started going as Robert Banks. That has never been confirmed, but last month, the UK's Evening Standard reported that a defamation lawsuit may force Banksy to reveal his full identity once and for all. Artnet has more details on the lawsuit. (Others have speculated that Banksy is a woman or perhaps an art collective.)

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