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Christopher Walken paints over an original Banksy on Bristol set of TV show The Outlaws

Written by on 12 November 2021

Banksy left his mark on the Bristol set of BBC show The Outlaws – only for it to be painted over by Hollywood megastar Christopher Walken.

Banksy had painted a rat stood on a paint can on the wall in the city, captioned with his moniker, and was left covered up with a wooden board.

It was later found by Walken, who began to paint over it, effectively destroying the artwork.

Banksy painted the artwork in his hometown of Bristol. Pic: BBC Image: Banksy painted the artwork in his hometown of Bristol. Pic: BBC

This is of course all above board and was part of a scene in BBC drama The Outlaws, which saw Walken’s character told to paint over a wall of graffiti as part of his community service.

It is understood that the Bristolian street artist had agreed to leave his mark on the show’s set, making it the real deal.

According to the BBC, a spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the artwork at the end of The Outlaws was an original Banksy, and that Christopher Walken painted over that artwork during the filming of this scene, ultimately destroying it.”

Frank, Walken’s character, is seen asking his probation officer if he should cover-up the artwork after being told to paint over the graffiti on the wall.

However, she is facing the other way, unaware it’s a Banksy painting, meaning Frank runs his roller over the rat.

New BBC drama The Outlaws, which is set in Banksy’s home city, was written by and stars The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant, and follows the story of a group of minor criminals who are engaging in community service.

Christopher Walken is in BBC show The Outlaws. Pic: BBC Image: Christopher Walken plays Frank in the BBC show The Outlaws. Pic: BBC

As well as Walken, who has been in films such as Pulp Fiction, The Outlaws stars the likes of Richard E Grant, Darren Boyd and Ian McElhinney.

Banksy artworks are often worth millions of pounds when sold at auction, and usually pop-up in unannounced locations overnight.

You can listen to Sky News’ review of The Outlaws in the Backstage podcast.

Subscribe to the Backstage podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

The Outlaws is currently available on BBC iPlayer in the UK, and Amazon Prime Video internationally.