In the last episode of the BBC series The Outlaws, Hollywood actor Christopher Walken painted over a piece of art produced by Banksy.
The six-part comedy-drama, which Stephen Merchant co-created with US writer and producer Elgin James and also directed, follows a gang of misfits who are doing community service for crimes they have committed by repairing a disused community facility in Bristol.
According to the episode, the anonymous street artist from Bristol painted a rat with a can of spray paint and the words “Banksy” inscribed above it for the series.
Frank, Walken’s character, completes his community service by painting away graffiti in the last episode, which broadcast on BBC iPlayer on November 10th.
He asks his probation officer, Diane (Jessica Gunning), whether he should paint over the artwork, to which a preoccupied Diane answers that any graffiti must be painted over.
After that, Frank paints over the graffiti in the last episode of the series.
“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, eventually destroying it,” a spokeswoman for The Outlaws stated.
Merchant is a Bristol-born actor, writer, and comedian who portrays lawyer Greg in the series alongside teenager Rani (Rhianne Barreto), socialite Gabby (Eleanor Tomlinson), young doorman Christian (Gamba Cole), rightwing businessman John (Darren Boyd), radical activist Myrna (Clare Perkins), and conman Frank, played by Walken.
A partly shredded Banksy artwork sold for £18,582,000 at auction in London earlier this month. Love is in the Bin, the artwork, was sold by auction house Sotheby’s for a record price for a street artist.
The artwork, originally named Girl With Balloon, made headlines in 2018 when it partly self-destructed after being sold for £1.1 million at a previous auction.
The bottom half of the canvas was shredded by a concealed shredder hidden within the huge frame, leaving just a single red balloon on a white backdrop in the frame.
Love is in the Bin surpassed its £4 million to £6 million price projection.
Girl With Balloon, which portrays a tiny kid reaching out to a heart-shaped red balloon, was stenciled on a wall in east London and has since been endlessly duplicated, becoming one of Banksy’s most well-known pictures.
The Outlaws is now accessible on BBC iPlayer, and the series will be available on Amazon Prime in the United States in the coming months.
Thanks to Press Association at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.