Louis Theroux has described meeting Banksy at a Queens Park Rangers football match before the street artist rose to fame.
The popular documentarian described the chance meeting as “a bit of a random one” while appearing on That Peter Crouch Podcast.
Theroux said he attended a QPR game in 2001, and was told to watch out for Crouch, the “ungainly” but “very useful” new striker. While in the box for the match, he encountered Banksy.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
“This is the random part of this,” he said. ”One of the other people in the box was a young artist. He was a little bit sheepish, he wasn’t terribly outgoing, and I said, ‘What do you do?’
“He said, ‘I’m a street artist,’ and he gave me a little booklet of his art, and I looked at it and it looked quite good and I kind of made awkward chit-chat, and I said, ‘Oh, what’s your name?’ and he said, ‘Banksy.’”
Theroux continued: “Fast-forward a year, and people kept going, ‘Have you heard of this bloke Banksy? No-one knows who he is.’ And I said, ‘Banksy? Yeah, I know who he is – we went to a QPR game together!’”
Banksy is known for keeping his identity a secret; to this day, the artist’s real name has never been confirmed.
“I couldn’t really remember anything about the encounter,” said Theroux, “but just the fact of having met Banksy at this random thing has stood me in good stead the last 20 years. I’m one of the only people to have met Banksy – and we bonded over Peter Crouch!”