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Christopher Walken destroyed an original Banksy piece in The Outlaws finale

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The Outlaws star Christopher Walken was given permission to destroy a genuine Banksy in the comedy-thriller's final episode.

Now available on BBC iPlayer, his character Frank paints over a stencilled rat on a wall, which art enthusiasts will recognise as the unidentified icon's motif.

A spokesperson for the show told the BBC: "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, ultimately destroying it."

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Related: Stephen Merchant explains why The Outlaws was changed from a movie to TV show

The New York Post reports that set designers ushered in Banksy's rodent piece after the artist himself agreed to the gobsmacking stunt.

Previously teasing The Outlaws, co-creator and star Stephen Merchant said of the ragtag ensemble at the centre of it: "Everyone is morally compromised in one way or another and that deepened as the show went on.

"Clearly, there are degrees of criminality, but the idea of evil – that person's evil – most people who commit crimes are not evil. Something has led to that circumstance and again, it's too easy to just dismiss whole swathes of people as criminals or whatever else."

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Related: Stephen Merchant teases Christopher Walken's character in comedy thriller The Outlaws

"Everyone's part of this socio-economic dynamic and everyone is redeemable or understandable or relatable," he continued.

"And you don't necessarily have to agree with how they're living their lives, but you hopefully see either what brought them to that moment or you see that they're not as cut and dry as you would necessarily assume."

The Outlaws airs weekly on BBC One, with all six episodes now available on BBC iPlayer.

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