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 250* audio-drama stories for Big Finish Productions and The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.
There are also details listed here of the 150* audio books I've recorded since March 2013, including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including audible.co.uk, Hachette, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.
(*figures at October 2018)
I hope you find something of interest here and come back soon for further updates.
Thursday, 28 November 2013
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Todd asked if he might use my version of the poem in an animation he was working on. I readily agreed and the finished film appears below. I hope you'll agree that he's created a magnificent piece of work and a very fitting tribute.
Monday, 25 November 2013
Thursday, 21 November 2013
I'm thrilled and excited to be part of such a landmark event - if you're going to be there at any time over the weekend, do come along to the Big Finish area and say 'hi' - and look out for the Big Finish Dr Who Live Presentation, which we'll be performing twice each day.
Saturday, 16 November 2013
My excitement is growing by the day, especially now that I have more of an idea of what I'll be doing at the Celebration. Beth Chalmers, Barnaby Edwards, Nick Briggs (Big Finish Executive Producer & Voice of The Daleks) and me, will be presenting a twenty minute excerpt from a Dr Who story, twice each day over the three day period (according to the published on-line schedule). If you're planning an itinerary for next weekend, I hope you'll include a trip to see our merry crew at Big Finish.
So, enjoy the upcoming Dr Who celebrations and if you're at the ExCel next weekend, do come to the Big Finish area and say 'hello'.
Sunday, 10 November 2013
Well, what a busy couple of weeks it's been - it always feels good to be busy. As mentioned previously, I'm currently in the process of recording a couple of audio books; The Escape by Adam Thirlwell for Red Apple creative and Author, Author by David Lodge for RNIB. There are several recording sessions scheduled over the next few weeks to complete each of the books and we should be finished by early December.
Last week, I was also back in the studio to record further episodes of Survivors for Big Finish and had a great time with the fabulous BF crew, David, Ken and Toby, who always create such a great working environment. Writers Andrew Smith and John Dorney also came along to make sure their carefully crafted scripts weren't mangled too badly by the acting company, and on Thursday, Matt Fitton put in an appearance. Matt wrote the first episode of the Survivors series and it was great to catch up with him again.
What also made recording such a treat was the opportunity to work with such a fabulous bunch of actors, including Louise Jameson, Adrian Lukis, Phil Mulryne, Camilla Power and for the first time, stars from the original Survivors television series, Lucy Fleming, playing Jenny Richards and Ian McCulloch as Greg Preston.
I've already posted some of Anthony Lamb's fantastic artwork for the series and this image, recently released by BF, probably represents something close to the actual CD cover:
At the end of the last posting, I mentioned the possibility of some exciting news to come in this posting. Now that wasn't merely a cheap ploy to boost interest in the site; I was just waiting for a final confirmation before saying anything.
So here it is; as every true Dr Who fan knows, November 23rd 1963 is the date 50 years ago, when the first episode of the first series of the four part story, An Unearthly Child, was broadcast. To mark the occasion, on November 23rd this year, The Day of the Doctor will be broadcast in cinemas and on television in 2D & 3D, not only here in the UK, but also in several other countries around the world.
This from the BBC:
Relive 50 years of adventures in space and time with the ultimate celebration of Doctor Who. The greatest show in the Universe comes to London’s ExCeL for three days from the 22nd November!
With just over two weeks to go (and counting!) the excitement is building to the event that will bring you unrivalled access to all things Doctor Who.
With behind-the-scenes demonstrations and workshops, stunts, explosions, monsters, props & costumes, official merchandise and memorabilia – it really is the most exciting celebration a Time Lord and his companion could have. Even if you’ve got 13 lives, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Doctor Who fans young and old.
I'm feeling very honoured and slightly overwhelmed and very excited to have been asked to the event as I'm sure you can imagine. As well as all the Doctors and their Companions, there will be lots of other actors from the series, amazing entertainments and a sell out audience of 15,000 Dr Who fans - maybe see you there!
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
“We’re thrilled to have Lucy, Ian and Carolyn on board,” says producer David Richardson. “Our initial episodes will introduce a new set of characters that will encounter Jenny and Greg as they search for supplies.
Saturday, 2 November 2013
I'll tell you what happened. I finally made it into London at about 4.30, much too late to start work - and checked into a hotel for the night - who was to say the trains would be running properly the next day? And two lost days out of a three day recording schedule would be a bit tricky... a bit tricky. So Tuesday morning, me and producer Chris Sharp, " hi Chris, hi John", sealed ourselves away in Studio 3 and made a start. By late afternoon the next day, the job was done - on schedule.
There was something about the book that I really enjoyed, technically, as a reader. It had flow, it had style. I had fun. I'll post all the details when the final product is released and as I never get to hear any of the work I've done, I might just have to buy a copy and find out what it's all about. Yes, I just might. As we were finishing on Wednesday, I was asked if I'd like to record another audio book written by the same author; only snag, we'd need to start recording the next morning. Record a book I hadn't read; an 'instinctive' read. So that's what happened. " hi Neil, hi John " And we made a start. Because of other commitments, we'll pick up recording in a couple of weeks time - hopefully, no-one will hear the join.
" Other commitments? " Well, yes. On Friday, I was in a different studio on the other side of London doing something else, with some other people, also great fun. And next week is looking interesting too; in fact the next several weeks are looking interesting - and busy. Good. On Tuesday, I'm thrilled to be recording a voice over for a movie; it's called Shadow Industry, directed by Henry Vought and produced by Marie Favre. There's a trailer below:
Wednesday and Thursday should be very exciting indeed as we are back in the studio for more... hang on. Sorry. I'm sorry, but as you probably already know, I can't tell you just yet. Would love to, but can't. Not yet. Then, on Friday, another audio book; a biggie - lots of pages and small print; should finish sometime in December - really, December.
And what of the Classic Doctors on Watch Channel that I've been blurbing on about for the last few weeks? Today's episode, Battlefield, originally broadcast from 6 September to 27 September 1989, starred Sylvester McCoy as Doctor number Seven (when Sylvester says that, he usually 'whistles' the 's' - you can imagine) and Sophie Aldred as Ace.
I've mentioned this in previous posts, but perhaps I can get away with a quick repetition; when I was in my early teens, Sylvester, before he became the Doctor, came to our school and led our drama group in a workshop, which I remember enjoying very much - small world!
Coincidentally, I've worked with Doctor Seven, seven times.
Other people I've had the great pleasure of working with from this story include Angela Bruce, who played Brigadier Winifred Bambera and the amazing Jean Marsh, whom I regard as nothing less than A National Treasure.
Tomorrow, it's the turn of Paul McGann to play Doctor number Eight and after that, I think I'll cancel my own series of weekend Classic Who updates, before I become terminally predictable.
To round off today's posting, a bit of a teaser I'm afraid. I'm waiting for final confirmation of something which I have to say, I'm getting very, very excited about. Hopefully, sometime next week, I'll be able to tell you all about it.
In the meantime; just to say that I'll be playing a character called Shafto in a repeat of Street & Lane on BBC Radio 4 Extra on Tuesday morning at 9.30.
Written by Dave Sheasby and Ian McMillan (t' Bard o' Barnsley), the series stars Finetime Fontayne and Nick Lane, so do tune in - it's funny!
Reviews & comments:
Over the course of this 8 book series, the amazing John Banks has had to create and voice 648 distinct characters!
Neil Gardner - producer
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
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
A Spy Like No Other:
This is the best audio book ever.
The Cult Den
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)
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