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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Friday 20 November 2015

Audio updates...

What with computer meltdowns and furious bouts of activity, it's been quite a while since I've just been able to post a general update about what's going on in my professional world, tiny as it is.

First thing to mention perhaps is the astonishing realisation that our recording of the New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, read by me and produced by Neil Gardner, is complete.

After 18 days in the studio, we finished last Friday evening, although as the editing process has reached Galatians, Book 66 of 84, there will still be a number of pick ups and corrections to be made over the next several weeks.

The greatest 'surprise' when reading The Bible as a narrator, was just how many names there are, both of people and places and how fearsomely tricky some of them are to say, especially if one wishes to give a flowing, seamless read, which is of course, a minimum requirement. Here's a very small example of what I mean, taken from The Book of Numbers, although there are many other exhaustive 'lists' throughout The Bible:

Numbers Chapter 1: Verses:

4 A man from each tribe shall be with you, each man the head of his ancestral house.
5 These are the names of the men who shall assist you: From Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur.
6 From Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai.
7 From Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab.
8 From Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar.
9 From Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon.
10 From the sons of Joseph: from Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud; from Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.
11 From Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni.
12 From Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai.
13 From Asher, Pagiel son of Ochran.
14 From Gad, Eliasaph son of Deuel.
15 From Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan

For reasons unknown, one of the trickiest names to read 'fluently' was King Ahasuerus; getting the pronunciation right drove us both to distraction. Anyway, here's Rembrandt's impression of what he might have looked like, bless 'im!

The next item on the agenda is to mention a couple of BBC Radio Drama Award nominations. Checking the Big Finish web site the other day, it came as a bit of a surprise to realise that four of their productions have been nominated for the 2016 Awards and I'm delighted to be acting in two of them - I know! Third year in a row to be nominated, which is hugely gratifying, as I'm sure you can imagine.

The two nominated productions I'm involved with are The Judgement of Sherlock Holmes, written brilliantly by Jonathan Barnes, in which I play Inspector Lestrade and The Hunted from the second series of Survivors, again, superbly written and directed by Ken Bentley, in which I play Daniel Connor. Congratulation to the entire cast & crew involved in the nominated productions - what larks!

And so, to round off with teasingly minute scraps of information about what's coming up. You will, I know, sympathise with me in regard to a situation that arose a couple of days ago; I was offered a really exciting job that I'd been hoping to get for weeks. My joy lasted for mere seconds however, when I realised that it clashed with another job already agreed and in the diary; to add to the carpet chewing frustration, the jobs only clashed because the original dates had been altered - oh, the agony and the ecstasy - only in reverse!

Moving on; I'm very much looking forward to co-narrating a fascinating new novel next week. It's a highly original work, full of twists, turns, red herrings and wrong-footings and I hope both the book and our audio-book do very well.

At the end of next week, I start recording the biography of an actor, who might well be of great interest to classic Doctor Who fans and I shall say much more about both projects at the appropriate time.

Following that, in a couple of weeks, I'll be recording more audio drama for Games Workshop and for the first time in several years, I'll also be narrating some short stories and a novella for them, which I'm really looking forward to and very excited about. Plans are also afoot for a hugely challenging and exciting project, but I really can't say anything about that at the moment because I'm still waiting to be 'approved' by the powers that be; if it works out, and I ought to find out fairly soon, there will definately be much more to come on that particular update - much more!

Exciting and busy times ahead, for which I am very grateful.

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

The Realmgate Wars: Sands of Blood

And so, onto November's other audio release and this is the next story in the Realmgate Wars epic saga from Games Workshop. It's always good fun to record Warhammer stories and a particular pleasure to find myself working with such a talented bunch of people, some of whom I've also worked with at Big Finish. There's much more to come from this series of adventures and indeed, there are other stories in the pipeline featuring Space Marines, but more of that when details are available and I'm allowed to talk about them.

In the meantime, here are some details about Sands of Blood:

Part two of the Realmgate Wars audio drama series:

The Hallowed Knights – and their vampire ally, Mannfred von Carstein – continue their quest to find the gates of the underworld and an audience with Nagash.

A bunch of Stormcast are exploring the Realm of Death in search of an immortal god who's not too fond of their master. There's no way things could get worse for Tarsus and his Bull-hearts. Is there? Well, with the treacherous Mannfred von Carstein as their guide (and it doesn't get much more treacherous than ending the world-that-was by literally stabbing someone in the back...) the scope for "worse" is limitless...

In the quest to find the Nine Gates to the underworld of Styxx and an audience with the great Nagash, Tarsus of the Hallowed Knights leads his Stormcast Eternals to the Blood Wastes. His guide, Mannfred von Carstein, warns that this is a tempestuous land, full of ill-intent.

Whilst rescuing a conclave of priests from a Bloodbound warband, Tarsus and his men are forced to seek refuge from a spectral storm in a strange bastion. As the Bloodbound follow them and lay siege, Tarsus discovers this Temple of Final Rest carries a dark secret, one that could either save or destroy them.

Performed by

Gareth Armstrong  John Banks  Ian Brooker  Beth Chalmers  Steve Conlin  Toby Longworth  
Luis Soto & Ramon Tikaram

Written by Josh Reynolds
Produced by Matthew Renshaw

...only the faithful! 

Survivors I was saying

The first blog update on a new PC! The last one, ten years old, went into terminal decline a couple of weeks ago, just when I wanted to talk about the new series of Survivors and turned into something resembling the 13th Doctor that I played in Trial of The Valeyard - a bit demented, jibbering, confusing history and plain refusing to function. The new gadget is working well so far and most of the essential files have been transferred, so at last, time for an update - or two!

If Survivors is your cup of audio tea, you will probably have heard the latest series by now; I haven't received my 'contributer copy' yet, so I'll have to rely on my recollection of events until it arrives. A number of reviewers have expressed opinions on Series 3 and I'm pleased to say that they seem to be very positive, for which of course, I am grateful.

If, like me, you're still a bit in the dark about this latest series, here's an idea of what it's all about:

It begins with just a few people falling ill. Another flu virus that spreads around the globe. And then the reports begin that people are dying…When most of the world's population is wiped out, a handful of survivors are left to pick up the pieces.
Cities become graveyards. Technology becomes largely obsolete. Mankind must start again…

     Cabin Fever by Jonathan Morris

After weeks of searching for her son across a devastated Britain, Abby Grant and her allies head into London in pursuit of new leads. One of the party is quarantined, holed up with a fever. They remember the very first days of the Death, and the actions of a man called John Vincent…

       Contact by Simon Clark

A lonely voice on the radio calls out across the ether. Maddie Price is a long way from home, but not yet ready to give up hope.

        Rescue by Andrew Smith

When his friends' lives hang in the balance hundreds of feet above London, Jimmy Garland leads a daring rescue mission into the capital.

         Leaving by Matt Fitton

Down on the coast, plans are being made to reach out across the world. It could mean a new beginning for some, and the long-awaited chance to return home for others.

Carolyn Seymour Abby Grant   Richard Heffer Jimmy Garland   Chase Masterson Maddie Price  
John Banks Daniel Conner   Fiona Sheehan Molly   Andrew French Dalton Roberts 
Paul Thornley John Vincent   Damian Lynch Marcus   Miranda Raison Janet   John Voce Walter
Lisa Bowerman Gloria   Christopher Hatherall Tyler   James Joyce Jonathon   Louisa Clein Pam 

Script Editor Matt Fitton
Directed by Ken Bentley
 Producer David Richardson

'With an astonishingly accomplished sound design and acting almost literally to die for... the audio revival of Survivors has now proven itself easily the best and most consistent work that Big Finish has taken on, and with a format that allows for a greater involvement in characters and storylines there are ways in which producer David Richardson is even improving upon the TV original.'

                                                    J.R. Southall  Starburst 
'I could talk for hours, but I'd be giving away too many spoilers. It's basically dark, it's scary. It gives you a glimpse of so many of us. It's the human condition taken to its extremes... if you are tempted even remotely to embrace the Survivors, you will not regret it.'
                                                                  TinDog Podcast

Wednesday 4 November 2015


Imagine then, you've survived 'The Death' only to realise that life as it was once known, has gone for ever and all the modern conveniences we've become so used to and feel so exposed and helpless without, are set to incrementally disappear - food, medicine, shelter and computers...  as I sit here, I am intensely aware that the machine on which I write, is hanging on by a thread and has crashed so many times in the last 72 hours, that I'm already looking for it's replacement - oh, the irony! To survive only to witness the death of one's 'puter!

Having finally managed to open my email program and got something other than a sharp 'boink' sound out of it, I decided to write to the BBC. That, of itself, took a while but then took a further hour to properly send. Only then did I notice the error I had corrected... hadn't actually corrected at all. Boink!

Moving on; yes indeed, Survivors Series 3 was released on Monday and I suppose by now, some keen listeners will have hoovered up every last episode and may even be looking forward to series 4. More of that anon.

Having spent quite some time trying to write and post more about Survivors, I'm afraid the computer gremlins have beaten me and I'll have to postpone further details - maybe until I get a new computer!

My apologies for such a minimalistic posting, but I will post properly about this release and others just as soon as I am able. How frustrating!

I hope you 'enjoy' Survivors - 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