Rare ‘Banksy’ television interview discovered 16 years on

A tape of an extremely rare interview claimed to be with Banksy has been discovered in a vault.

The ITV News report was filmed ahead of the elusive graffiti artist's Turf War exhibition in 2003.

He is seen stencilling a black insect on to a wall and painting a picture of a baby with blocks spelling "KILL MORE".

Both pieces have long been attributed to Banksy.

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The art of Banksy
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The art of Banksy
File photo dated 21/12/18 of Banksy's Season's Greetings mural. The owner of the mural, John Brandler, has cancelled plans to create an international street art museum in Wales following disagreements with council officials.
A painting of 'Girl with a balloon' seen during the exhibition. 'Banksy The art of Protest' at cultural center 'La T�rmica' is an exhibition showing for the first time in Malaga. the work of famous and mysterious British street artist 'Banksy', display more than 40 creations such originals works, sculptures, videos and photographs provide by international private collections including the original print of "Ni�a con globo". (Photo by Jesus Merida Luque / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Visitors seen looking at a painting during the exhibition. 'Banksy The art of Protest' at cultural center 'La T�rmica' is an exhibition showing for the first time in Malaga. the work of famous and mysterious British street artist 'Banksy', display more than 40 creations such originals works, sculptures, videos and photographs provide by international private collections including the original print of "Ni�a con globo". (Photo by Jesus Merida Luque / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
New Banksy 'masterpiece' on a wall in Marble Arch. A new piece of 'Banksy' artwork left after the Extinction Rebellion protesters left Marble Arch last week could be worth �1 million. If genuine - and art experts claim it is definitely him - it could sell for around �1million, but only if it can be removed. Westminster Council have now placed a protective perspex plate over the piece of street art as it had already been the subject of some defacement with red and blue writing and a yellow 'smiley' leaflet stuck to the wall. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Isabelle Schofield takes a photo of herself in front of the painting 'Devolved Parliament' by the graffiti artist Banksy, which is going on show at Bristol Museum.
Traffic passes the Brexit-inspired mural by artist Banksy in Dover, Kent, as MPs will vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal later today following last-minute talks with the EU.
A visitor is seen walking by Banksy�s Dismaland and Others exhibition at Alfandega Congress Center. The exhibition, includes images taken by Barry Cawston from the project Dismaland (2015), the well-known theme park created by Banksy, integrate other works identifying the artist as "Walled Off Hotel" (2017) or "Flower Thrower" (2005), one of his best known works. Apart of Barry images, the exhibition also integrates a series of works by young Portuguese artists, also serving as a launching pad for new names in the universe of urban art. (Photo by Omar Marques / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A view of the Brexit-inspired mural by artist Banksy in Dover, Kent, ahead of the debate and vote on the Brexit motion at the House of Commons, London.
A view of the Brexit-inspired mural by artist Banksy in Dover, Kent, ahead of the debate and vote on the Brexit motion at the House of Commons, London.
MIAMI, FL- DECEMBER 20: The Art of Banksy, Miami Florida, December 20, 2018. (Photo by Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA)
MIAMI, FL- DECEMBER 20: The Art of Banksy, Miami Florida, December 20, 2018. (Photo by Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA)
MIAMI, FL- DECEMBER 20: The Art of Banksy, Miami Florida, December 20, 2018. (Photo by Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA)
MIAMI, FL- DECEMBER 20: The Art of Banksy, Miami Florida, December 20, 2018. (Photo by Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA)
MIAMI, FL- DECEMBER 20: The Art of Banksy, Miami Florida, December 20, 2018. (Photo by Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA)
MIAMI, FL- DECEMBER 20: The Art of Banksy, Miami Florida, December 20, 2018. (Photo by Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA)
MIAMI, FL- DECEMBER 20: The Art of Banksy, Miami Florida, December 20, 2018. (Photo by Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA)
MIAMI, FL- DECEMBER 20: The Art of Banksy, Miami Florida, December 20, 2018. (Photo by Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA)
MIAMI, FL- DECEMBER 20: The Art of Banksy, Miami Florida, December 20, 2018. (Photo by Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA)
MIAMI, FL- DECEMBER 20: The Art of Banksy, Miami Florida, December 20, 2018. (Photo by Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA)
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The two-minute report, by ITV News correspondent Haig Gordon, features the artist speaking for 35 seconds.

He is wearing a baseball cap and has a T-shirt pulled over his lower face, but his eyes, eyebrows and forehead are visible.

"I'm disguised because you can't really be a graffiti writer and then go public," he tells Gordon, who has since retired.

"The two things don't quite go together."

Banksy interview discovered from 2003
ITV News correspondent Haig Gordon interviewed Banksy in July 2003 (ITV News/PA)

The report was discovered by Bristol-based ITV News correspondent Robert Murphy, who recently filmed Banksy's Devolved Parliament going on display at Bristol Museum.

After that report, Murphy looked into the ITV archives and was amazed to find a library entry with the catalogue listing "Interview with Banksy".

He requested the archive tape, which has now been transferred to a digital file, from the London vaults.

Murphy then contacted Gordon, who had forgotten that he interviewed Banksy ahead of the Turf War exhibition in Dalston, north-east London, in July 2003.

"I saw his face. The only problem is I can't remember what his face looked like," he told ITV News.

"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 amiable. 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."

Banksy interview discovered from 2003
Screengrab from the newly discovered tape of ITV News' interview with Banksy in July 2003 (ITV News/PA)

Gordon continued: "I have no evidence on which to make an assessment on whether this was the real Banksy or not.

"But it seemed like an organised event. The press officer seemed like a normal press officer who wouldn't be playing a trick on the media.

"We got the footage of him doing things without a disguise and we had a conversation without the disguise."

In his film Exit Through The Giftshop, Banksy is filmed as a hooded silhouette and his voice is distorted.

The voice is muffled in the ITV footage, due to the grey T-shirt over his nose and mouth.

He wears a blue and white cap and a beige hooded coat.

Turf War saw Banksy decorate live farm animals, with sheep painted as blue zebra, cattle with "This way up" arrows and stencilled blue police patrol car colours on pigs.

"It's hard to make an entertaining picture at the best of times but at least if you have something that wanders around and licks its nose and urinates in front of you it's going to make the picture a bit more interesting," the interviewee tells Gordon.

Asked about spraying "Designated Riot Area" on Nelson's Column, the man tells the journalist: "I thought that was quite funny."

Gordon asks: "You don't mind if I pass your details on to the police?"

He replies: "No. What details have you got?"

Banksy interview discovered from 2003
ITV News correspondent Haig Gordon looks at a Banksy artwork (ITV News/PA)

Richard Jones is a director of Tangent Books, which has published several books about Banksy and Bristol street art.

He described the footage as "really unusual" and "very, very rare".

"His anonymity is something which is very, very important to him," Mr Jones said.

"I often wonder what it must be like living your life anonymously.

"It must be so strange, going through layers of hiding your identity.

"I wonder how he feels about being the most famous current artist in the world but nobody knowing who he is apart from a small group of people."

Banksy has used teams of people to create larger exhibitions such his dystopian theme park Dismaland in Weston-super-Mare in 2015 and Banksy versus Bristol Museum in 2009.

It is not known whether he was the sole artist for Turf War.

Murphy said the interview showed "several things" that had not previously been seen in relation to Banksy.

"Firstly, we have an artist purporting to be 'Banksy' creating art at an official Banksy exhibition," he said.

"Secondly, this man is interviewed and we see more of his face than we have ever seen before.

"Thirdly, we hear his voice. It is mumbly and muffled but he's clearly a very funny chap.

"We simply don't know for sure if this is Banksy. But here, for the first – and last – time, is someone put up for interview at an official show.

"That hasn't happened before or afterwards, which makes this interview and Haig's report so extraordinary and rare."

Banksy interview discovered from 2003
Screengrab from the newly discovered tape of Haig Gordon's interview with Banksy for ITV News in 2003 (ITV News/PA)

Murphy said that, at other events, Banksy creates the artworks and "slips back to the shadows" – letting his pieces speak for themselves.

He insisted that ITV was not trying to expose Banksy or reveal his real name.

"What we are saying is 'There was this event back in 2003, Banksy willingly gave ITV News an interview, he wanted the publicity, it's been forgotten, now it's found and here it is'," Murphy said.

"People can make up their own minds."

A spokeswoman for Banksy declined to comment.

The video will be available to watch on ITV News West Country's digital channels on Thursday evening.

It will be broadcast on ITV News West Country at 6pm.

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