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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Monday 27 January 2014

BBC Audio Drama Awards 2014

and the winner is... 

 Dr Who: Dark Eyes - The Great War

written and directed by Nick Briggs for Big Finish Productions!


                David, Jason & Nick

I was thrilled to discover that this episode of Dark Eyes had been nominated for a BBC Audio Drama Award as I've mentioned in previous postings and I'm now beyond thrilled that The Great War has actually won in the category 'Best Online or Non-Broadcast Drama'. Congratulations to Producer David Richardson, Executive Producer Jason Haigh-Ellery and of course to writer & director, Nick Briggs - bravo!

The Dark Eyes company includes:

Paul McGann   Ruth Bradley   Peter Egan   Toby Jones   Tim Treloar   Laura Molyneaux  
 Natalie Burt    Ian Cullen    Jonathan Forbes    Alex Mallinson    Beth Chalmers    John Banks     Nicholas Briggs

                            Music & Sound Design Andy Hardwick    Cover Artwork Alex Mallinson



 What the judges said:


People’s history, fantasy and high drama. The winning entry was outstanding in every respect: a complex, gripping narrative made visible through three-dimensional characters in believable relationships, some fine acting, and a superbly orchestrated soundscape which never overdoes the atmospherics or signposting of changes in time and place. Above all, it manages its historical and fantastical elements seamlessly and, for a brief period, time is suspended for the listener.

The judges were Viv Gardner and Sofie Mason

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Welcome to Nekropolis...

And so, after a hugely enjoyable Big Finish Day 4, meeting lots of very enthusiastic BF fans, including intrepid travellers from Germany, Holland and even Russia, it's back to work in the recording studio.

BFD4 - The Audio Acting Panel: 

Simon Fisher-Becker, Steven Wickham, Lisa Bowerman, Tom Chadbon, John Banks, Tracey Childs

* * * * *

I'm just about to start recording the second of three audio books for Ladbroke Audio, which will become available via relatively soon I should imagine. The trilogy is written by Tim Waggoner and includes Nekropolis, Dead Streets and Dark War featuring ex-cop turned Private Eye Matt Richter, who also happens to be a Zombie!

At the moment, between preparations for the audio books, I'm currently catching up on a fair amount of Big Finish recent releases, including The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes, The Avengers Volume 1 and Dr Who: The King of Sontar, starring Tom Baker and Louise Jameson, which we recorded in July 2012.

So, a brief update and off to the studio now; must get myself into zombie mode...

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Big Finish Day 4

A quick reminder - as if one were needed! - that the fourth of Big Finish's very own conventions takes place this weekend, on the 18th in fact. Guests invited to attend include Paul McGann, along with Julian Wadham and Anthony Howell from the new series of Avengers stories and the Counter Measures cast, Simon Williams, Karen Gledhill, Pamela Salem and Hugh Ross - funnily enough, I'll be there too, signing and appearing on a Q&A 'panel'.

Thanks to Elvina Esanova, who recorded and recently posted this clip of our 'Day In The Life at Big Finish' sketch which we performed at the BBC Official 50th Celebration weekend back in November. Elvina is such a dedicated Dr Who fan, that she travelled all the way from Moscow to attend!

From left to right in the clip: Nick Briggs, Barnaby Edwards, Beth Chalmers and me.

If previous BF Days are anything to go by, Saturday's get together should be an entertaining and fun day out 

- maybe see you there!

Sunday 12 January 2014

Dr Who Short Trips or - 'John Banks plays Romana, Nyssa & Peri shock!'

A lovely summer's day, August 15th 2012; a recording studio somewhere deep in the heart of the Kent countryside and four scripts: Dr Who Short Trips - Subscriber Bonus Releases.

As far as I'm aware, no details or credits have ever been revealed about these recordings, there's no artwork, no CD - just unadorned, downloadable audio files. There appears to be some speculation on the Big Finish web Forum at the moment as to who performed these stories; so, with the permission of Paul Spragg, finally, the truth can be told!

The four stories recorded that day were:

Only Connect by Andy Lane, featuring The Fourth Doctor

Tweaker by Dan Abnett, featuring The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa

Methuselah by George Mann, featuring The Fifth Doctor and Peri

Breadcrumbs by James Moran, featuring The Fourth Doctor and Romana

That was the original order of recording, however, we weren't quite sure that we could fit all four stories into a single recording day and so Methuselah, being the longest, was left until last. Recording these stories was quite a challenge; previously I'd only recorded one solo audio book, The Madness Within for The Black Library/Big Finish, written by Steve Lyons and directed by Lisa Bowerman and the idea of playing two Doctors and three Companions, as well as all the other characters and the narrator, was a bit daunting. 

Only Connect and Breadcrumbs were released to Big Finish subscribers in December 2012. I uploaded short extracts to Soundcloud and to this web site; scroll down and you can listen to them. 

Here's what I wrote when these first two stories were released:

'In total, four Short Trips adventures were recorded, featuring two 'Doctors' and a variety of their respective 'Companions'. We recorded all four stories in a day, which was great fun and quite a challenge as we didn't have time to record the character voices and narration separately - I just started at the beginning and with the unflagging support of director Ken Bentley - ploughed on through to the end!

When I was asked to record these stories, I felt incredibly flattered to have been given such a responsibility and to have been trusted not to screw the whole thing up! Having just recently had the opportunity to listen to 'Only Connect' & 'Breadcrumbs', I am relieved that the mistakes and errors of judgement I've made aren't too glaringly obvious and I hope the listener will enjoy the content of the stories, rather than find themselves being distracted by my shortcomings.'

I had no idea what plans Big Finish had for the release of these recordings and it's come as a very pleasant surprise that Tweaker and Methuselah are also now available - rather than having been binned or consigned to a dusty shelf somewhere at BF Towers! Having now listened to all four stories, immodest as it might sound, I do feel quite proud of the work we did on them - I say 'we' not in a grand sense, but because the process of recording such stories is a collective team effort and great credit should go to the writers, producer David Richardson and director Ken Bentley, who provided invaluable support and encouragement.

If you are able to listen to these stories, I very much hope you enjoy them.

“Subscribers get more at Big Finish!”

Friday 10 January 2014

The Avengers

I'd intended to post this update much earlier in the day, but a power cut took care of that. We're still reeling a bit from the recent bad weather here in Surrey and there's still quite a bit of local flooding, the River Wey having broken its banks before Christmas.

So, with electricity once more surging through the computer, I can make a start. The working year is well under way and I'm currently recording a Talking Book for the RNIB. We've been in the studio for two days this week, today is a break and we'll finish tomorrow, one day ahead of our allotted recording schedule. I'm thoroughly enjoying the book, The Rescue Man by Anthony Quinn and the challenge of playing the numerous, mainly Liverpudlian, characters. I've also decided to 'narrate' in a soft Liverpudlian accent, which has proven to be quite liberating and good fun. Next week, I'm very much looking forward to starting work on a trilogy of audio books with Ladbroke Audio, but more of that at a later date.

This month sees the much anticipated release of a new Big Finish series The Avengers. I am in the series, although you'll probably need a forensic sense of hearing to discern exactly what I'm doing! I wish I could elaborate on that bald statement, but of course I can't, at least, not at the moment.

Here are some details from Big Finish:

The Avengers company features:

Anthony Howell as Dr. David Keel, Julian Wadham as John Steed & Lucy Briggs-Owen as Carol Wilson


Colin Baker, Camilla Power, Tim Bentinck, Adrian Lukis, Phil Mulryne, Blake Ritson,  
Anjella Mackintosh, Kieran Bew, George Rainsford, Alan Cox, Beth Chalmers, Sophie Aldred, Sam Clemens, Francesca Hunt, Nigel Carrington, Nicholas Briggs, Terry Molloy, John Banks.

The stories are:


                                         Hot Snow by Ray Rigby                                                                                 
          Brought To Book by Brian Clemens          

Square Root of Evil by Richard Harris

 One for the Mortuary by Brian Clemens

Adapted by John Dorney

                  Sound Design and Music by Toby Hrycek-Robinson

                                      Directed by Ken Bentley

These original 'written for television' stories have been adapted for audio production by the ever brilliant John Dorney and directed by Ken Bentley - and it's thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of producer David Richardson that the series has come to fruition via Big Finish. As a child of the sixties, I adored The Avengers on television, particularly the era of Steed and Mrs Peel. But how fascinating it is to go back to the very beginning of the series, even before Cathy Gale, to stories that I wasn't even aware of.  To have had the opportunity of taking part was genuinely a professional dream come true and I can't wait to listen to the stories in this 4 CD Box Set.

* * * * *

Some 'hot off the press' news I came across yesterday, is this from BBC Media:

PS: I've always found the 'most popular posts' section of the site to be quite fascinating. For some time, Stargate SG-1 has been in pole position, but for the last several days, it's been The Horus Heresy: Grey Angel and by a considerable margin - interesting - so, many thanks to all the Warhammer fans for checking in!

All for now - more soon!

Wednesday 1 January 2014

...and a Happy New Year, let's hope it's a good one...

Happy New Year and welcome!

Out with the old and in with the new - or 'on' with the new! And without wasting a moment in retrospection, this month has some very interesting audio releases from Big Finish. Of the ones I've had something to do with, the first adventure of January 2014 comes in the guise of Dr Who: The King of Sontar, starring Tom Baker & Louise Jameson. There's another highly anticipated release this month - (what?) - but more of that later.

As I'm not sure in which order these recordings will become available, I've decided to mention them in the order they were recorded. First in that case, and by quite a margin, is The King of Sontar, which we recorded in July 2012 - eons ago!

Here are some details:

Dowcra base. The third Elite Sontaran Assassination Squad closes in on its target. A dozen trained killers, but even they will be unable to bring down the invincible Strang…

Manipulated by the Time Lords, the TARDIS also arrives on Dowcra. And the Doctor is set to encounter the greatest Sontaran ever cloned...

Tom Baker The Doctor      Louise Jameson Leela  
Dan Starkey Strang    David Collings Rosato    John Banks Vilhol
Jenny Funnell  Reaver   David Seddon Irving

Written by: John Dorney
Directed by: Nicholas Briggs 

* * * * *

A short 'n' sweet start then to the new year; there's much more to come in the days, weeks and months ahead and whatever is fit to publish will appear here - so do come back soon for further updates!

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