Banksy creates new show on pranks and anarchy for British TV
Banksy, the elusive British street artist, branched out into movies last year with his Oscar-nominated documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop." For his follow-up screen endeavor, Banksy has created an hourlong television special for Britain's Channel 4 on the history of public pranks and various forms of anarchy.
"The Antics Roadshow" -- a pun on the popular series "Antiques Roadshow" -- is scheduled to premiere Saturday evening on Channel 4 in the U.K. (There are no U.S. air dates for the program, though that could change soon given Banksy's universal popularity. Sundance Channel? IFC? Are you reading this?)
The program profiles such notable pranksters as Michael Fagan, who once broke into Queen Elizabeth II's bedroom, as well as Noel Godin, who has thrown cream pies in the faces of Bill Gates, author Bernard-Henri Lévy and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
(No word yet if Jonathan May-Bowles, who recently attempted to pie Rupert Murdoch, will be featured in the program.)
"The Antics Roadshow" also includes an interview with the person who once placed a grass mohawk on the statue of Winston Churchill in London's Parliament Square.
Explaining the title of his new show, Banksy said in a statement on Channel 4's website: "'Basically I just thought it was a good name for a TV programme and I've been working back from there." "The Antics Roadshow" is narrated by comic actress Kathy Burke and is produced by Jaimie D'Cruz -- the latter of whom also produced "Exit Through the Gift Shop."
At least one online publication and some message-board commenters have noted the timing of the show, coming on the heels of Britain's worst rioting in a generation. Savvy marketing stunt or timely programming? As is usually the case with Banksy, you never know for sure.
-- David Ng
Photo: Pie-thrower Noel Godin chasing French TV anchorman Patrick Poivre d'Arvor. Credit: Prestige