As reported in its corrections and clarifications last week the Guardian’s Guide interview on July 18 ‘purporting to be with Banksy’ [no longer available online] was in fact ‘conducted with someone impersonating the graffiti artist’.
Today, the readers’ editor, Siobhain Butterworth elaborates further, with a comment from the Guide’s editor Malik Meer and the freelance journalist who provided the piece, Rich Pelley (or Pelly, as it is spelt elsewhere on the Guardian site). An extract from Butterworth’s weekly column:
“(…)Meer also thought the responses matched the tone of the Guide’s back-page slot. “It’s that chatty banter style of interview,” he said. “Our stuff is a bit edgy and the page is set up to be cheeky and funny.” He adds: “There was no malicious intent on our part, we got conned and we held our hands up; in hindsight I should have put a call into the official PR and checked.”
“Before conducting the Guide’s Q&A Pelley did ask Banksy’s official spokeswoman for an interview – however, she didn’t agree to it. He was nevertheless confident that he was in contact with Banksy: “I really thought it was a genuine interview based on a comparison with the Times interview,” he told me. “I really feel I got busted. I’ve put up my hands and said sorry.”