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Art Attack's Neil Buchanan had a very different life in a heavy metal band

Art Attack's Neil Buchanan had a very different life in a heavy metal band

Many people don't know he was once part of a successful heavy metal group

Fans of cult kids’ show Art Attack have been left stunned after realising presenter Neil Buchanan was once in a heavy metal band.

Buchanan, 66, is well known for fronting the popular children’s art series, which ran for 19 series on CITV between 1990 and 2007.

It later launched on Disney Junior, presented by Jassa Ahluwalia and later Lloyd Webster, but many Brits will remember the original star from the TV screens of their childhoods.

Neil Buchanan fronted Art Attack for 19 series.

But he also forged a successful career in a slightly more unexpected field, having once been a member of a heavy metal group based in Liverpool.

Buchanan played lead guitar and provided backing vocals for Marseille, a band he formed with Andy Charters and Keith Knowles in 1976.

They were originally named AC/DC, but had to change their name later that year after the Aussie rock band of the same name started growing a fanbase in the UK.

After winning the first ever ‘UK Battle of the Bands’, which was judged by Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, Marseilles secured a five-year recording contract with Mountain Records, and went on to release a debut album, Red, White and Slightly Blue in 1978.

Buchanan performing with Marseille in 2010.

Buchanan ended up leaving the group in 1980 before they disbanded four years later, but rejoined in 2008 after a decades-long hiatus.

Photos of Buchanan – who left Marseilles again in 2014 – as his rocking alter-ego have started to resurface on social media, with many of his fans admitting they never knew about his musical background.

One recently tweeted: “Had no idea Neil Buchanan had forged a second career in heavy metal.”

Another said: “I am today's year old when I found out that Neil Buchanan (the Art Attack guy) used to be in a heavy metal band, playing a guitar!”

Buchanan left the band for good in 2014.

Since his guitar-shredding days, Buchanan has been forced to deny that he’s the artist behind Banksy, after a bizarre internet rumour saw him at the centre of the long-running mystery.

In September 2020, he tweeted: “Hi folks. You won't be surprised when I tell you - contrary to the recent media frenzy - I am honestly, hand on heart, NOT Banksy!!

“Trust me, if I had created some of those amazing images he has made, I would be the first to stand up and take a bow. Sadly, I didn't create them - so I can't! But I did paint all the stuff here. Hope you like it! As ever, thanks for your support. Neil.”

Featured Image Credit: ITV/Colin Wood/YouTube

Topics: Music, Celebrity, UK News