Coming June 6th…

Coming June 6th…
The Mercy Chair
"John Banks is one of the UK's most prolific audiobook narrators, working for the likes of Big Finish, Audible, Random House and Games Workshop.

He is a true multi-voice, creating everything from monsters to marauding aliens.

He is also an accomplished stage and TV actor." 2018


...I'm John Banks - welcome to my website.

The majority of my working life has been spent in the theatre with companies including
York Theatre Royal, Cheltenham Everyman, Sheffield Crucible, Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange and the National Theatre in London.

Television work includes Emmerdale, Coronation Street, and 'Allo, Allo!'. I have also worked on a number of radio drama and comedy productions with the BBC.

Since March 2009, I have enjoyed playing a huge variety of characters in more than 270* audio-drama stories with Big Finish Productions, together with The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.

There are also details listed here of the 214* audio books & stories I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including, Hachette, Audible Studios, Podium Audio Publishing, HarperCollins, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at April 2021)

I hope you find something of interest here and come back soon for further updates.

For all posts, reviews and audio samples, please scroll down...

The Runewar Saga: Book 2

The Runewar Saga: Book 2
The Crown of Fire & Fury

The Botanist

The Botanist
Washington Poe Series: Book 5

Skaven Deathmaster

The Babel Books

The Babel Books
The Fall of Babel - click image above for link to audible

Doctor Who: Back To Earth

Throne of Light: Dawn of Fire Book 4

Throne of Light: Dawn of Fire Book 4
Release Date: 13th November 2021

Soul Wars

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Tuesday 27 September 2011

David Croft

Tuesday 27th September:

I couldn't let the day end without mentioning David Croft, who sadly passed away earlier today. I worked with David on two series' of 'Allo,Allo!, one of a number of hugely successful comedy shows that he wrote, directed and produced for the BBC over many years; shows which have become part of the fabric and culture of the nation, especially perhaps, Dad's Army, which he created with Jimmy Perry.

I can't claim to have known David well and I'm sure many other people will write much more about him in the days to come. What I can say, is that he was always immensely kind to me, very generous with his time and in sharing his vast experience in comedy.

Our first meeting was at the read through for my first studio episode, having previously worked only on location with another director, Susan Belbin. The call was for 11.30 am and I arrived at the studio at 9.30 so that I knew exactly where I needed to be. I wanted to arrive at the huge table already set up in the middle of the cavernous sound stage with a few minutes to spare, so that in my trepidation, I didn't have to meet the cast of very well known actors and be too nervous to function. At 11.25 I breezed into the room only to find the table fully occupied and David Croft reading in my lines. The call was not 11.30 as I had been informed, but 11 o'clock - what a great start!

Of course, I apologised profusely to everyone at the end of the reading and tried to explain that I'd been there for hours 'killing time'. David just smiled and said something comforting and it was never mentioned again. Others in his position might have fired me on the spot.

I remember once sitting with him in the BBC canteen at TV Centre, having a bite to eat, before recording sections of the programme in front of a live Friday night audience. I was telling him how much I loved Dad's Army and he was kind enough to talk to me about it and pass on a few anecdotes about some of the cast members - perhaps you can imagine how I felt at the time.

Knowing of my keen interest in how things were done in tv comedy, he would invite me into the director's gallery to watch him direct the show, cutting between five cameras on the studio floor and having the generosity and patience to explain to me what he was doing. There I would be, in make-up and costume as Corporal Caponi, watching him and the crew, waiting to go down to do my bit..

Such knowledge and insight gave me a better idea of what I needed to be doing as an actor. He would also sometimes invite me to look through the camera lens so that I could see how a shot was being framed, giving me a better understanding of how to play the scene. One day, we were filming in Nouvion Town Square at Elstree Studios and David gave me a note: he said that in the shot we had just rehearsed, if I were to stand with my weight 'on the other leg', it would be funnier. I did - and it was. That was the only acting note he ever gave me, apart from suggesting that I shouldn't learn my lines too well because the show was like a 'a soufflé' and should feel light and fresh. He would often go with a first take, even if there were a few mistakes, rather than lose the 'spontaneity' of it.

In his calm, quiet way, he taught me a huge amount and I shall remember him always with great affection and respect. In my opinion, he was a genius, who created some of the best loved television comedy this country has ever produced. It was a great privilege and an absolute pleasure to have known and worked with him.

                                                                You have been watching...    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ...David Croft.       

Thursday 8 September 2011

Vixens From The Void

Now that Nev Fountain's brilliant trilogy of novels, Geek Tragedy, DVD Extras Include: Murder
& Cursed Among Sequels are available in paperback, I think it's an appropriate time to post the first episode of his complimentary series of pod-casts, released under the collective title, Vixens From The Void.

I hope you enjoy listening to this recording, the series was great fun to do. The novels are brilliantly original, engaging and funny; so much so, that I've just started reading them again.


In the pod-casts, I'm playing Mervyn Stone & Laurence Warwick and Nicola Bryant is playing Vanity Mycroft & Sally Pride; Nick Briggs is narrating.

There's much more at Mervyn's official website:  Mervyn Stone 

Thursday 1 September 2011

September 2011

Following quickly on the heels of last month's update, September is upon us and there's a new  
Doctor Who release to mention:

The Doomsday Quatrain

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor),
David Schofield (Nostradamus/Conclave Leader), John Banks (Brors/
Captain of the Guard/Bernardo),  
Caroline Keiff (Garilund/Computer Voice),
Derek Carlyle (Kren/Second Nuncio),  
Nicholas Chambers (Larrett/Milo/First Nuncio)

"When the river is gone, ships shall sail in the sky, monsters bring fire from the heavens. All will fall into a grey and endless sea, and Doomsday has come."

Florence, the sixteenth century. No one thought to pay much attention to the prophecies of the so-called seer Michel de Nostradame,
 otherwise known as Nostradamus. Until the canals of Venice dried. Until the soothsayer's sayings started coming true…

Because Master Nostradamus is right, in all respects. The end of the world is nigh. The ships are coming. The monsters are coming. The fire is coming. There's only one thing he didn’t see coming, in fact: the sudden apparition of a certain strange Doctor, in his even stranger TARDIS. Today, the Earth dies screaming. And all the Doctor can do is watch.
I'm back in the studio tomorrow evening (Michael Shanks is on Vancouver time) to continue working on the Stargate SG-1 series, which began in early June. Should be interesting...  

Update: 8th September:  ...and indeed it was interesting! Arriving at the studio, I was slightly surprised to be given scripts for two episodes of SG-1 which I'd never seen and hadn't prepared for - at least it helped to keep things fresh and spontaneous!

The delay on the line between London and Vancouver was a bit of a lark; that aside, I had ten characters to play - some of them human - and had great fun giving it 'the beans' opposite
Michael Shanks, who played Dr. Daniel Jackson.

Update: 20th September. Two more episodes 'in the can' and no delay on the line this time. By coincidence, I still had ten characters to play although, as I had previously worked on and recorded both scripts, I had a bit more of an idea of who was who and what the stories were about. Here's a tweet from producer Paul Spragg:    

'Second day with Michael Shanks and we're on episode four. Some disturbingly good chemistry with John Banks as he fills in as Vala...'

I'm sure I don't know what he means. Two more episodes left to record.

Next week I'm working on a project for Big Finish which is ultra top secret - at least for now! More anon...

Dalek Universe 2

Kragnos Broken Realms

Age of Sigmar Dominion

The Moggotkin of Nurgle

Kragnos Broken Realms

Dawn of Fire Book 1: Avenging Son

The Lore of Direchasm


A C'tan Shard Rises 3

Indomitus: Necrons 2

A Lord Among the Stars 1

Angels of Death Preview


Psychic Awakening

Warcry: Death or Glory

Warhammer 40,000

Flight. Redefined.

Reviews & comments:

The Malazan Empire

Over the course of this 8 book series, the amazing John Banks has had to create and voice 648 distinct characters!

Neil Gardner - producer

The Door In The Wall & War of The Worlds

Not often I buy another version of an audiobook I own, but after hearing John Banks' narration of The Door in the Wall by Ladbroke Audio, I had to buy their version of The War of the Worlds. Banks has a great reading voice.

Andy Frankham-Allen - writer

The Books of Babel: Senlin Ascends, Arm of The Sphinx & The Hod King

Mr. Banks does superb work, and I recommend the audiobooks wholeheartedly!

Josiah Bancroft - writer

Mervyn Stone: The Axeman Cometh

John Banks is a voice genius...

Nev Fountain - writer

Mervyn Stone... played by the note-perfect John Banks.

Matt Hills - Reviews in Time and Space

Dr. Who: The Sleeping City

I also must draw attention to John Banks who is an exceptional voice artist and in this one story performs more characters that I can count. ... it is listening to episodes like this one that really do let his talents shine through.

Tony Jones - Red Rocket Rising


...playing several parts, was the brilliant Big Finish regular John Banks - it was as if there were about 40 different actors in the other booth.

James Moran - writer

I went for the best of the best and brought in voice artiste extraordinaire John Banks.

Paul Spragg - producer


...also features the mind - bogglingly versatile and reliable John Banks

Jonathan Morris - writer

Dead Funny:

The acting is first rate… wonderfully played by John Banks as Richard – his impersonation of Eric Morecambe is worth the admission money alone.

Beverly Greenberg: Bolton Evening News

Mr. Happiness:

This early and unfamiliar play by David Mamet is a character study of a 1930s radio counsellor, dispensing suave advice to his devoted listeners. John Banks brings out the wry comedy of this – comedy quite unappreciated by the character – with a clever range of gesture and vocal tone.

Jeremy Kingston: The Times

All My Sons:

This is a beautifully crafted piece ...and it affords a wonderful opportunity for John Readman* to do his All-American Boy act as Chris Keller. This most polished and well observed performance as the blighted son of a blighted father must rank as one of his finest accomplishments yet. ( * see Profile)

The Stage

The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes

Kudos should also go to John Banks. Lestrade can be a thankless part, but Banks rose to the challenge, playing a pivotal role in this decades long arc.

Raissa Devereux - SciFiPulse

The Judgement of Sherlock Holmes

John Banks is multi-tasking, both as the superb Lestrade and also the villainous and no doubt moustache twirling Sebastian Moran. They sound completely different and I bow to his talent.

Sue Davies - SFcrowsnest

Further reviews and comments are included with specific postings throughout the site.

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015