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 26 February 2016

Pharos, War Without End, The Labyrinth of Buda Castle and Dancer's Lament... phew!

One way or another, February is turning out to be a very busy time indeed, both in terms of new audio recordings being released and also because lot's more stuff has been and is being recorded for future release.

So, where to start? How about with Games Workshop and those funsters over at The Black Library? Excellent, glad you agree.

Here are details of two, yes two, further releases this month from The Black Library:

Just as Guilliman’s dream of Imperium Secundus seems finally to be realised, the Night Lords launch a full invasion of distant Sotha. Their target? The mysterious Mount Pharos…

With the noble Emperor Sanguinius ruling from Macragge, Imperium Secundus stands as a lone beacon of hope even as the Warmaster’s forces continue to ravage the rest of the galaxy. Roboute Guilliman, still Master of Ultramar, has convinced his brother that Terra has fallen and that the mysterious Mount Pharos on Sotha now holds the key to mankind’s future. But the Night Lords, those cruel and pitiless sons of Konrad Curze, have been watching from the shadows, and make ready to launch their long-planned attack on the Pharos itself…

                         Written by Guy Haley, Produced by Matthew Renshaw & Narrated by John Banks.

                                                 Audiobook running time: 13 hours and 23 minutes.

Pharos is the first full length solo audio book I've done for The Black Library and I'm particularly grateful to producer Matthew Renshaw for asking me to work with him on the book. We had great fun recording and I'm delighted to say that there are further audio books in the pipeline brought to you by the same winning team (!).

Rogal Dorn, Primarch of The Imperial Fists
Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of The Ultramarines
In the process of recording Pharos, I came accross these fabulous drawings of some of the characters featured in the story.
Konrad Curze, Primarch of the Night Lords, the Night Haunter

Captain Alexis Polux, 405th Company, Imperial Fists at Pharos
Roboute Guilliman's new Imperium faces its first test as the Night Lords, scattered after the events of Prince of Crows, attack in force.

And of course, Curze is still around...

A Horus Heresy anthology

The Warmaster’s rebellion spreads to every corner of the galaxy in this Horus Heresy anthology. The galaxy will never know peace again, not in this lifetime or a thousand others...

The Emperor’s vision of mankind ascendant lies in tatters. The Great Crusade is naught but a fading memory. The dream of Unity is no more. But with Horus’s rebellion spreading to every corner of the Imperium and war engulfing new worlds and systems almost daily, there are some who now ask: were the signs there to be seen all along? In these dark times, only one thing is certain – the galaxy will never know peace again, not in this lifetime or a thousand others...

This anthology contains twenty-one stories from the Horus Heresy:

                                                              Sermon of Exodus by David Annandale
                           Howl of the Hearthworld & Lord of the Red Sands by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
                                                                   Black Oculus by John French
                              The Laurel of Defiance, A Safe and Shadowed Place & Twisted by Guy Haley
                                      Artefacts, The Phoenician, Imperfect & Chirurgeon by Nick Kyme
                                            The Devine Adoratrice & Wolf Mother by Graham McNeill
                                              Hands of the Emperor & The Harrowing by Rob Sanders
                                                                    Virtues of the Sons by Andy Smillie
                                                   All That Remains & Gunsight by James Swallow
                                                               By the Lion's Command by Gav Thorpe
                                                        Allegiance & Daemonology by Chris Wraight

A great collection of short stories and I'm thrilled to have narrated a couple of them; The Harrowing by Rob Sanders and All That Remains by James Swallow.

* * * * * 

Additionally this month, is the Fourth Doctor audio drama release from Big Finish, The Labyrinth of Buda Castle. We made this recording some time ago and my CV reminds me that I'm playing a character called Kovatch in it, although both he and I seem to be missing from the published web site cast list. It really is hard to keep an accurate record of what I've done with Big Finish as there are now quite a number of stories for which I'm not credited; mmm...

Anyway, if Kovatch does put in an appearence, I'm playing him! And here are some details:

The Doctor and Romana land in Budapest, intent on enjoying another holiday, but shortly after landing they find themselves too late to save the life of a man who has seemingly been attacked by a vampire. As they learn that this is the latest in a series of violent attacks, it becomes clear that they have stumbled onto something that needs investigating.

Aided by a vampire hunter who is searching for Dracula, they look into the nearby Buda caves, currently being used for storage by the military - and find that the soldiers have problems of their own.

Stalked through the tunnels by a monster, and up against an ancient evil, the race is on to escape alive - and foil the dastardly schemes of the maniacal Zoltan Frid.

 Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), Kate Bracken (Celia Soames), Mark Bonnar (Zoltán Frid), Peter Barrett (Guard-Major Priskin), John Dorney (Ensign Kanta),  
Anjella Mackintosh (Anita Kereki) John Banks (Kovatch)

Written by: Eddie Robson
Directed by: Nicholas Briggs 

* * * * *

...and finally for this posting, if not for this month, I can at last reveal the title of the first audio book of the seven book epic saga of novels I'm currently recording with producer Neil Gardner for Penguin Random House: Dancer's Lament by Ian C. Esslemont. I know people are already downloading copies of the book, which is being made available simultaneously with the print version. However, as I understand it, the CD version won't be released until the end of May; consequently, the artwork is currently unavailable. The details I've posted here are from the publisher in reference to the printed book:

It was once a land ravaged by war, minor city states, baronies and principates fight for supremacy, and then the rival cities of Tali and Quon formed an alliance and so Quon Tali came into being. 

However that was generations ago, that dynasty has collapsed and the regional powers are now clawing at each others throats once more. But at the heart of Quon Tali lies the powerful city state of Li Heng which has for centuries enjoyed relative stability under the guidance of the powerful sorceress known as the "Protectress". 

She is not someone likely to tolerate the arrival of two particular young men in her domain: one is determined to prove he is the most skilled assassin of his age; the other is his quarry - a Dal Hon mage who is proving annoyingly difficult to kill. The sorceress and her cabal of five mage servants were enough to repel the Quon Tali Iron Legions, so how could two such trouble-makers upset her iron-fisted rule? 

And now, under a new and ambitious king, the forces of Itko Kan are marching on Li Heng from the south. His own assassins, the Nightblades, have been sent ahead into the city, and rumours abound that he has inhuman, nightmarish forces at his command. 

So as shadows and mistrust swirl and monstrous beasts that people say appear from nowhere, run rampage through Li Heng's streets, it seems chaos is come - but in chaos, as a certain young Dal Hon mage would say, there is opportunity...  

* * * * * 

I will of course mention this release again when publication details of the audio version are available. At least now it's no secret as to what the rest of the series is; we're recording all of Ian C. Esslemont's Malazan novels in sequence* and yesterday, we finished the fifth audio book, Orb, Sceptre, Throne, 844 pages in four days - phew! There will be lots more to come about this series, but over the next few weeks, I'll be recording two books for Fantom Films, then off to Games Workshop HQ for another audio drama along with a solo audio anthology, followed by a short break (!), then back in the studio with Niel to record the final two Malazan novels.

In the meantime, thanks for sticking with this fairly 'epic' update and I hope it makes some kind of sense!

...all for now, more just as soon as it becomes available! 

*see the Christmas 2015 posting below. 

Friday 19 February 2016


Is there such a thing as a 'turnaround day' do you think? If there is, I might just be having one right now. The last couple of weeks have been a bit 'full on', a bit 'flat out' in recording terms and today, I have to start preparing for another epic adventure which starts on Monday.

Last week (it seems so long ago now!) I recorded a chunky little tome as part of the ongoing series of fantasy adventure novels - 880 pages in 4 days - busy indeed! This week, I did some recording with RNIB (details to follow soon) and then went to Games Workshop HQ to work with the brilliant audio producer Matthew Renshaw on another epic, sprawling, semi-apocolyptic (!) adventure in space with, who else, but the Space Marines - yaay!

Before the end of the month, there will be news of further audio releases from Games Workshop, but just for now, the only new audio entertainment I can officially mention is: Painkiller by Nev Fountain, simultaneously released in print and as an audio-book on February 18th.

Here are some details:

I cannot go on like this. I feel such a burden to you. You are young and can start again. You deserve that chance. By the time you read this I will be dead. Do not grieve for me, for I am now without pain.

Yours truly for ever,

Monica suffers from chronic neuropathic pain. Every second of her life is spent in agony, and she is coping with it the best she can. However, there are whole years of her life which are a blur to her.

But when she finds what appears to be her own suicide note, Monica begins to question everything. She has no memory of writing it - so who did? And if someone tried to kill her once, what's to say they won't try again . . .

NJ Fountain is an award-winning comedy writer, chiefly known for his work on the radio and television show Dead Ringers. He has also contributed to programmes such as Have I Got News For You, 2DTV and the children's sitcom Scoop. He also writes for Private Eye.

A read-in-one-sitting edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller...

                               Painkiller: published by little,brown

I'm very grateful to Nev for asking me to co-read this novel with Nicola Bryant: it's as twisty, red-herringy and intriguing as you might imagine from a writer such as Nev and it was a great pleasure to work with the team at Chatterbox and my producer, Nikki Ruck. Can't wait to give it a listen!

Meanwhile, back to prepping the next great adventure...

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

Monday 1 February 2016 say neither, I say tomato, you say pajamas, I say... EITHER!

As the release of Games Workshop audio drama and audio book productions often comes as a bit of a surprise, it's surprising that the release this month of The Either, has come as a bit of a surprise; if you get my drift.

So, without further ado, here are some details of the production and a link to the trailer, which to my eager ears, sounds pretty fab:

Tybalt Marr, Captain of the Sons of Horus, swears to bring down a thorn in the Warmaster's side: the commander of the so-called "Shattered Legions", the infamous Shadrak Meduson.

Captain Tybalt Marr of the Sons of Horus, so often overlooked by his more glory-hungry brethren, returns to his Legion in triumph. However, his boasts of having slain the infamous Iron Hands warleader Shadrak Meduson soon fall flat when he learns of the recent assassination attempt on Horus himself. Gathering his forces upon the conquered world of Dwell, Marr returns to battle against the Shattered Legions, determined to earn his rightful place in history.

Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Robin Bowerman, Ian Brooker, Steve Conlin, Toby Longworth, 
Luis Soto & Ramon Tikaram 

Written by Graham McNiell and Produced by Matthew Renshaw 

* * * * *

I'm really looking forward to listening to The Either; indeed, I'm looking forward to catching up with the last several Games Workshop and Big Finish releases, some of which I don't yet have copies of. In truth, I've just been too busy to do much of anything recently, as I've either been recording or preparing to record something and have spent most of my time over the last few months in a recording studio somewhere. 

Yesterday, producer Neil Gardner and I completed recording a fairly epic book, details of which will follow as soon as I'm allowed to talk about them. I say epic as it was over a thousand pages in length and featured more than 155 named characters. After six days of recording, I was just about wrung out, mentally and physically; sitting fairly still in front of a microphone, fully concentrating and articulating an average of 180 or so pages per 8, 9 or 10 hour session, trying to seemlessly flow between each character voice, expressing their various emotional journeys and describing monumental and very fast moving battle scenes was... extremely tiring - as you can imagine!

Now I have a few days to catch up with the rest of my life and prepare for what's coming next. And coming next for me is some more Big Finish this week, another fairly epic audio book next week - 900 pages and 63 characters - and then off to Games Workshop for another audio book adventure with some Space Marines - huzzah! There will probably also be a very interesting little project for RNIB, but more of that and everything else to come. 

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

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