BBC Radio 4 has launched a new documentary podcast on anonymous street artist Banksy, which will feature previously unheard accounts from a former employee who worked closely with the artist at his print shop.
The 10-part series, titled The Banksy Story, is hosted by producer, presenter, and ‘Banksy super-fan’ James Peak and includes exclusive, never-before heard stories about the artist from Steph Warren, who worked at Banksy’s print shop Picture On Walls.
“.. For the Crude Oils show, [Banksy] revealed himself to his parents and his dad had come down to see, and was looking completely open-mouthed at what his son had created,” said Warren in the podcast. “I sort of brought him in and showed him the work… I think he was just completely astounded at what was transpiring, you know? It was a real buzz, you couldn't walk past that installation without being aware of it.”
In addition to these stories, the podcast also features a five-minute recording from the early 2000s of a US radio interview with someone claiming to be Banksy. This was during a time when Banksy would walk into world famous museums to place his artwork on the walls and in the interview, the artist spoke about the work that went into pulling off these museum stunts.
The podcast also features input from contributors who were present during Banksy’s rise “from street artist to global phenomenon”, as well as analysis from connoisseurs such as John Higgs, cultural historian and author of The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds.
The Banksy Story launched today as a boxset on BBC Sounds. It follows the opening of Banksy’s first solo exhibition in 14 years - Banksy: Cut and Run 25 Years Card labour - at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Glasgow last month. The exhibition will run until 28 August.
After Banksy announced his solo exhibition in January 2023, podcast production company Message Heard launched an investigative series in April with Podimo titled Who Robs A Banksy? on the story behind self-titled “art terrorist” AK47 (Andy Link) who stole Banksy’s The Drinker sculpture in 2004 and held it for ransom, which led to a 20-year ongoing legal battle.
The six-part series is hosted by journalist and Message Heard founder Jake Warren (no relation), and features first-hand accounts from the thief, as well as other accounts from the people that are “closest to Banksy himself”.