"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."
...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 audible.co.uk, 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 Crown of Fire & Fury
Washington Poe Series: Book 5
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
Release Date: 13th November 2021
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And so. The second of today's audio releases; an audiobook that I mentioned originally, although not by name, in the 20th November posting. Here are some details:
the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of Assassin's Creed: The Official Film Tie-In
by Christie Golden, read by John Banks.
The official film tie-in to the Assassin's Creed motion picture starring Michael Fassbender.
"We work in the dark to serve the light. We are assassins."
a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum
Lynch experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th
century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret
society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to
take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present
I must thank Producer Neil Gardner and the production team at Penguin Random House Audiobooks for getting me in to record this audio book, which was great fun to do, even though our recording scedule was incredibly tight. I can only hope that their faith in me has been justified and I look forward to hearing the finished production with fingers firmly crossed!
And so, onto the sixth release of mine this month from those festive folk at Games Workshop. Here are some details of the audio drama, The Art of Provocation:
The Art of Provocation
A Space Wolves audio drama
Lukas the Trickster plays a dangerous game. With hordes of orks massing
on Polix Tertius, he risks the ire of Wolf Lord Kjarl Grimblood, as well
as the blades of his xenos foes…
Amongst the Space Wolves, the name of Lukas the Trickster is as much a
curse as anything in the old tongues of Fenris. Named Jackalwolf by his
masters, none of whom wish his dubious fealty, he now plays a dangerous
game with the hordes of orks massing on Polix Tertius.
Risking the ire
of Wolf Lord Kjarl Grimblood, as well as the blades of his xenos foes,
he turns his attentions to the planetary vox-communications network, and
begins to broadcast...
John Banks, Jonathan Keeble and Toby Longworth
Written by Josh Reynolds & Produced by Matt Renshaw
Plethora indeed! December has been an incredible end to an incredible year of audio releases, 8 so far this month, with more to come - and 59 so far this year. Needless to say, I'm way behind in listening to all of this stuff (I'm still listening to Bleeding Heart Square!) and with all that's going on, I don't look like catching up any time soon.
The pace has calmed a little as the Christmas holiday gets ever closer, although, I have been recording this month and I'm off to Games Workshop HQ tomorrow for more work next week, which I'm really looking forward to. Next year is beginning to take shape and there are a couple of exciting projects I'm already keenly anticipating. But all that is to come, what about now???
Since the release earlier this month of The Calculus of Battle, here are details of the 'plethora' of subsequent releases:
Doctor Who: The Sontarans
The TARDIS arrives on a moon-sized asteroid orbiting two gas giants.
With an amazing view, it’s a chance for the Doctor, Steven and Sara to
unwind after their recent adventures.
But they quickly find themselves in the midst of battle - on one
side: a familiar group of space-suited soldiers - members of the Space
Security Service. On the other: strange, squat aliens in body armour.
Surviving the initial hostilities, the Doctor and his friends
discover that the SSS squad is on a terrifying mission. With many lives
at stake, they have to venture deep inside the asteroid in search of a
hideous weapon. But who can they trust in the battle against these
Peter Purves Steven - The Doctor - Narrator Jean Marsh Sara Kingdom
Dan Starkey Corporal Ellis - Slite - Shrok - Stack - Commander Jemma Churchill Captain Papas John Banks Corporal Gage Rosanna Miles Tinder - Human Soldier
Written by Simon Guerrier
Directed by Ken Bentley
* * * * *
A Horus Heresy audio drama
Sent by Corax to the great slaughter at Beta-Garmon, Marcus Valerius
fears the end is nigh. Guided by visions from the God-Emperor, can he
lead the Therion Cohort back to victory?
Though he knows such beliefs are forbidden, Vice-Caesari Marcus Valerius
of the Therion Cohort is willing to lay down his life in service to the
immortal God-Emperor, for the good of all mankind.
Sent by Corax to the
great slaughter at Beta-Garmon, every last one of the Imperial Army
soldiers under his command knows that the end is nigh - but can
Valerius' holy visions guide them to one final victory over the hordes
of the hated Arch-traitor?
Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Ian Brooker, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Saul Reichlin,
Toby Longworth and Luis Soto
Written by Gav Thorpe & Produced by Matt Renshaw
* * * * *
The Embrace of Pain
A Lucius the Eternal audio drama
Lucius the Eternal is openly challenged by a champion of the old
Death Guard Legion. Could an immortal daemonhost, blessed by Nurgle, be
the undoing of the blademaster’s curse?
While voyaging through the depths of the warp, the infamous blademaster
Lucius the Eternal is challenged by a servant of another god - a
champion of the old Death Guard Legion, no less.
Keen to remain dominant
over his preening and ambitious rivals in the Cohors Nasicae, Lucius
takes up his sword without a second thought... but could an unfeeling
daemonhost of Nurgle, or the voices inside his own head, be the undoing
of his Slaaneshi curse?
John Banks, Antonia Beamish, Robin Bowerman, Steve Conlin and Luis Soto.
Written by Ian St. Martin & Produced by Matt Renshaw
* * * * *
Blood And Bone
In the western sky, the bright emerald banner of the Visitor descends
like a portent of annihilation. On the continent of Jacuruku, the
Thaumaturgs have mounted another expedition in a bid to tame the
neighbouring wild jungle. Yet this is no normal wilderness.
called Himatan, and it is said to be half of the spirit realm and half
of the earth. And it is said to be ruled by a powerful entity whom some
name the Queen of Witches and some a goddess: the ancient Ardata.
grew up knowing only the rule of the magus Thaumaturgs - but it was the
voices from that land's forgotten past that she listened to. And when
her rulers launch their invasion of this jungle, those voices send her
and her brother on a desperate mission.
To the south the desert
tribes are united by the arrival of a foreign warleader, a veteran
commander in battered ashen mail men call the Grey Ghost. This warrior
leads these tribes on a raid unlike any other, deep into the heart of
Thaumaturg lands, while word comes to K'azz and mercenary company the
Crimson Guard of a contract in Jacuruku. And their employer? Could it be
the goddess herself?
Unabridged audio book narrated by John Banks
Running time: 26 hours and 38 minutes
Produced by Neil Gardner
* * * * *
The Soul, Severed
A Horus Heresy audio drama
As Lord Commander Primus, Eidolon leads the Emperor’s Children in
Fulgrim’s absence. But a challenge from within the Legion forces him to
turn the Kakophoni against their brethren.
As Lord Commander Primus, Eidolon leads the Emperor’s Children in the
absence of his primarch - who even knows where the daemon prince Fulgrim
resides, now? But a challenge from within the Legion forces Eidolon to
confront one of his rivals, the ambitious Archorian, a capable officer
and tactician who would see the Legion returned to glory.
unacceptable. It is time for the Kakophoni to be set against their
Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Steve Conlin and Luis Soto
Written by Chris Wraight & Produced by Matt Renshaw
* * * * *
It was quite a thing for me to work with Peter Purves and Jean Marsh on The Sontarans. Peter has beena part of my life for most of my life, asa presenter of iconic children's television program, Blue Peter and Jean had created and acted in one of the most enduring and beloved television series in British tv history, Upstairs, Downstairs. Many's the time I've had 'pinch yourself' moments working with Big Finish and I've had the privilege of working with some amazing actors, but this certainly ranked very highly as a treasured moment.
Having essentially suggested that you immediately acquire all of the above recordings and listen to them, I do of course, sincerely hope that they are good and that you will enjoy them. As I said, I'm way behind in my listening and have only heard The Soul, Severed so far, so fingers crossed, there'll be some good stuff in there.
As a parting thought: did you read the update I posted on 20th November? There'll be a further, related update sometime next week, so if you find your thumbs starting to twiddle, I invite you to pop back and have a look at what's happening...
If you've had a look at yesterday's posting, amongst other things, I mentioned a freshly released audio drama, The Calculus of Battle. And so, without further ado, here are some details from Games Workshop:
The Calculus of Battle
An Iron Hands audio drama
Warleader Kardan Stronos of the Iron Hands fights against the
tyranids on Varasine, measuring his Chapter’s infallible logic and
ruthless strategy against the cost in human lives.
The beleaguered Astra Militarum defenders of Varasine fight against the
alien menace of a tyranid invasion, but their only possible salvation
approaches in the form of something almost equally inhuman.
Kardan Stronos of the Iron Hands, long having studied the xenos threat,
now brings his fearless battle-brothers to join the war - only he can
save Varasine, measuring his Chapter’s infallible logic and ruthless
strategy against the cost in human lives.
John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Toby Longworth and Luis Soto
Written by David Guymer & Produced by Matt Renshaw
* * * * *
My principle task today is to re-read and prepare an audio drama script for Big Finish, which we are scheduled to record a little later this week. I have already had a chance to study the story and I'm very much looking forward to recording it; today is my chance to brush up on it and I'm savouring the prospect.
"Primogenitor: noun: an ancestor, especially the earliest ancestor of a people; a progenitor."
It seems that in the run up to the Christmas holidays, otherwise known as Advent (especially for those of us who are fortunate enough to have a chocolate filled Advent Calendar!), those good folks at Games Workshop are releasing something every day, either a novel or audio book/drama.
What a great idea! But as you can tell from the last posting, it's caught me out a little and I'm just as surprised as anyone as to what's becoming available. The audio drama Perpetual was my first and another was released today, The Calculus of Battle; but more of that anon, because in addition to these Advent releases, regular 'main range' stories are also appearing and for me, Fabius Bile Primogenitor by Josh Reynolds is a very exciting prospect indeed and I'm listening to it now, for the first time, as I write.
So what's it all about? Have a look at this amazing artwork, featuring dear old Fabius himself and whet your appetite (hopefully!) on the synopsis. There's also an audio sample to listen to on the Games Workshop website (via the following link) if you'd like a flavour of the story: Fabius Bile Primogenitor
Fabius Bile: Primogenitor
A Warhammer 40,000 audio book
Exiled into the depths of the
Eye of Terror for his dark deeds, former Emperor's Children Apothecary
Fabius is drawn back to the Imperium in search of a secret that could be
the key to saving his misbegotten life…
He is known by many names - Clonelord, Manflayer, Primogenitor. He is
the epitome of deceit and perversion, and feared by man and monster
alike. Once the Chief Apothecary of the Emperor's Children, the madman
known as Fabius Bile possesses a knowledge of genetic manipulation
second to none. Now a renegade among renegades, he is loathed by those
he once called brother, and even the most degraded of Chaos Space
Marines fear his name.
Exiled for his dark experiments, Bile has
retreated deep into the Eye of Terror, leaving a trail of twisted
abominations in his wake. But when a former student brings word of the
ultimate prize for the taking, Bile is unable to resist being drawn once
more into the cauldron of war. For in seizing this prize, Fabius Bile
might yet discover the one secret his has been unable to unlock... the
secret which will prevent his inevitable doom.
Written by Josh Reynolds, Produced by Matt Renshaw & Narrated by John Banks
* * * * *
I thoroughly enjoyed working on this recording and had a great time up at Games Workshop HQ. I also have a particular reason to look forward to listening to this story, which I might mention in a future posting; how mysterious!
In closing, now is about the time I would normally sign off by saying:
...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!
And while that is still the case, the wait for the next posting won't be very long; in fact, it will be appearing here tomorrow! I spoil you I know, but hey, it's Christmas!
What? Two posts in as many days? Yes indeed; once again, Games Workshop have surprised me with the release today of the audio drama Perpetual. The turnaround on this story has been pretty quick and I wasn't expecting it to be available so soon, but here it is in all its glory, complete with a synopsis and some great artwork:
A Horus Heresy audio drama
Escaping from ruined Calth, Oll Persson and his band of refugees are
trapped on a dark, forgotten world. But the enemy draws near, and
immortality may not be enough to survive...
Oll Persson stands apart from the rest of mankind. He is one of the old
ones, one of the undying. One of the Perpetuals. Now, fleeing from the
ruins of Calth with his band of fellow refugees, the vagaries of the
warp have brought him through the backways of time and space to a city
that rests on the edge of oblivion... and no further.
The path has ended
abruptly, and Oll's enemies are finally closing in. Will his
immortality be enough to save him this time?
Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Ian Brooker, Cliff Chapman,
Steve Conlin, Penelope Rawlins,
Saul Reichlin and Luis Soto
Written by Dan Abnett & Produced by Matt Renshaw
In this story, I'm primarily playing a character called 'John Grammaticus' and here are some details about him which I'm quoting from the Warhammer Wiki:
"John Grammaticus was a human operative of the mysterious xenos organisation known as the Cabal, and had been genetically altered by them to become what they referred to as a "Perpetual", a being who was capable of reincarnation and therefore was effectively immortal, much like the Emperor of Mankind. Also like the Emperor, Grammaticus was a natural psyker whose main psychic power allowed him to act as a powerful logokine, a psyker who is able to understand any language, no matter its form or origin, and unleash the innate power of words"
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 Vienna:
...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 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.