Neil Buchanan is a television presenter and musician best known for his work on the CITV programme Art Attack, Neil fronted the art show that was beamed out to more than six million viewers every week. Running for 17 years and 500 episodes, Art Attack took children’s television and, in particular, art shows, to a new level.
Now retired from the show Neil has become an artist and recently launched his first collection of what he calls “grown-up art”.
As a youngster, Aintree-born Neil tried to enrol at Liverpool Art College but was turned down.
Neil said: “With Art Attack, I was just putting the mischief into the art, making it accessible to people. There was already Tony Hart, but because Art Attack looked quite modern it made the others look quite dated.
“We won three Baftas and were nominated 12 times – we became the yardstick by which they measured everyone else.
“I’ve been asked to do the jungle, Big Brother, all of them… but no, not for me. I don’t do the celebrity thing – it just doesn’t appeal.”
Neil was also in a band called Marseille, They made two albums and five singles and were part of the new wave of British heavy metal scene.
Barlows Primary School, Fazakerley and Liverpool Institute High School.
My favourite teacher:
Without a doubt it was Mr Varley, he was totally inspirational and never patronised any child. He knew how to inspire pupils and how to get the best out of me.
Favourite subject at school:
That one is easy! It was art but I also loved football.
Were you streetwise or a bit of a geek?
When I was at school every child in Liverpool had to be streetwise, including me, so yes, I was streetwise.
My favourite childhood band/singer:
The Dave Clarke Five. I remember seeing them at the Liverpool Empire, my nan took me and she had no idea what was going on with all the screaming.
My favourite extra-curricular activity:
If you can call it an extra-curricular activity but we all loved playing in the old bomb-site by the school, we called it ‘the bombies’ and it was a real treat for us to play there.
Do you remember your first school crush?
Yes, her name was Elaine Pilson, she lived not far from me and she had the most beautiful set of hair slides, we were in love.
My favourite book:
The first book I truly remember was Huckleberry Finn, I loved reading it, but my favourite has to be The Hobbit.
I never stayed for dinners seeing as I only lived down the road. I used to remember running all the way and timing myself. My record was seven minutes flat door-to-door. Nowadays school dinners are like gourmet dinners.
My ambitions at school:
I wanted to be, in order: a rocket driver, a train driver, a bus driver, Zorro, yes Zorro and then a football player.