"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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Infamous even among the mercenary
"Blackshields", former World Eater Endryd Haar and his warband face
trials that drive them to the brink of destruction as they try to
survive the Horus Heresy.
Renouncing fealty to all masters or driven mad by the rigours of war,
the Blackshields are a stain upon any Legion they once served. Regarded
as little better than pirates, their loyalty is only to themselves.
Infamous among their mercenary ranks is Endryd Haar, a former World
Eater, driven by hatred, his blade pledged to no banner but his own. But
estranged from his Legion and surrounded by a battered warband of
warriors, how long can Haar and his Blackshields hope to endure?
Gareth Armstrong, John
Banks, Tim Bentinck, Steve Conlin, Matthew Hunt & Toby Longworth
Written by Josh Reynolds 7 Produced by Matt Renshaw
time approximately 72 minutes
Sometimes, a story comes along that just seems to effortlessly 'sit right'; it feels good to say the words and reveal the narrative, the characters are well drawn and satisfying to play. The False War is such story in my opinion and I thoroughly enjoyed working on it and playing the rich and multi layered character, Endryd Haar. I must say, I'm pleased with the result and hope there'll be more to come - a series of Blackshields adventures would be fantastic I reckon. We shall see!
In other news this week: as from yesterday, 27th September, Black Library audiobooks have started to become available via audible.co.uk and audible.com
I'm delighted that a number of the audiobooks I've recorded with Games Workshop are included in this initial release: Fabius Bile Primogenitor, Warlord: Fury of The God Machine, Blades of Damocles, Vaults of Terra: The Carrion Throne and The Horusian Wars: Resurrection.
I'm naturally interested to see what else might become available in future.
I'm still just about working at capacity in terms of book preparation and recording; next week, I'm recording a fantasy novel with full details to follow quite soon I think, as publication isn't too far away and earlier this week, I recorded an audio drama with Big Finish, which represented a bit of a milestone for me, as it was the 100th audio drama I've recorded with director Ken Bentley. Hard to believe really, but there it is - and what fun I've had with Ken and the whole Big Finish crew. Great thanks go to Ken and all at BF. The next milestone is a close run thing at the moment, between Nick Briggs at BF and Matt Renshaw at BL, although, I think Matt might just have the edge...
All details of current and future recordings and whatever else might come up, will be revealed here asap, but in the time honoured way, I'll wrap up by saying...
The Adeptus Custodes are the Emperor's praetorian guard, the defenders
of Terra and watchers over the Golden Throne. But when a threat arises,
they and their Sisters of Silence allies may find themselves pressed
almost beyond endurance…
The Custodian Guard have stood watch over the Emperor's Palace on Terra
since the foundation of the Imperium. Charged with protecting the Master
of Mankind from all threats, within and without, their fearsome resolve
is renowned throughout the galaxy, and their golden armour is the last
thing that a would-be assassin or saboteur will ever see.
Null-maidens of the Sisters of Silence, who are anathema to psykers and
sorcerers alike, there is no threat to the Golden Throne that they alone
cannot vanquish... until now.
Narrated by Gareth Armstong, Emma Gregory and John Banks
Written by Chris Wraight & Produced by Matt Renshaw
Running time: 10 hours and 31 minutes
So, this unabridged audiobook, released a few days ago, is a fascinating interweaving of stories told from different perspectives. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the project and can't wait to give it a proper listen... when I have time, which is in very short supply at the moment!
* * * * *
Twenty stories in all have been recorded over the last couple of weeks, along with another 'trailer' for The Black Library, which was released on the YouTube Warhammer TV Channel and which is playable below:
Despite the frenzied recording activity of the last few months, I'm nevertheless relishing the prospect of what's to come in the next couple of months. Such a variety of stuff and some very, very challenging recordings in the pipeline, but I'm feeling 'tuned up' and ready to go.
I love this time of year, as we approach autumn; for me, it's always been a time of beginnings rather than endings and I've always been a big fan of John Keats, who wrote this on 19 September 1819:
Ode To Autumn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
(first of three stanzas)
* * * * *
On a different tack; I'm astonished as to the number of people who have viewed the trailers I've been recording recently for Games Workshop. The Death Guard trailer has been viewed well over 230,000 times and the second Mortarion trailer, around 100,000 times; even the Adeptus Mechanicus clip above, which was only released on Saturday, has been seen almost 27,000 times so far. The power of the internet indeed!
Before I wrap up today's posting, I'll just mention the audiobook I'm recording this week. At the moment of course, I'm not allowed to give away any details, but I can say that it's a complete contrast to the material I've been recording for the past several months; it's the autoboigraphy of...
I know, I know, I'm sorry; but all will soon be revealed, promise!
Good afternoon! Another snapshot posting I'm afraid; once again, I'm in the middle of a very busy phase of recording. It's already more than a week now, since publication and simultaneous release of the audiobook of Jon Hollins' latest novel in his Dragon Lords series: False Icons. (29th August).
It's quite a long novel and the audiobook has a running time of 20 hours 5 minutes, so, as you can imagine, it was quite a task to record the whole thing over a very intensive four days in July. The team at Chatterbox Audio were as supportive and efficient as ever and I had legendary former BBC Radio producer, Mary Price, to keep me on track. I'm grateful to all involved and indeed to Jon Hollins, who has been most generous in his comments both about this recording and the first Dragon Lords audiobook, Fool's Gold, which I recorded about a year ago.
Here are some details:
The Dragon Lords: False Icons
A heist story with a difference: Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hobbit in this rollicking fantasy adventure.
dragons who once ruled over the land are dead. The motley crew that
stole the dragons' gold and stumbled through a revolution are rich and
praised as saviours. Everyone gets to live happily ever after, right?
Well, it might have worked out that way if the dragons in Kondorra
had been the only ones. If they hadn't been just the tip of the spear
about to fall upon the whole world....
The Dragon Lords: False Idols
combines nonstop action, death-defying adventure and a
never-before-assembled cast of wisecracking misfits. This series is a
worthy addition to every fantasy lover's horde.
I recently mentioned why I was being kept so busy at the moment, both in terms of preparation and actual recording. I'm currently recording two collections of audio books, twenty stories in all and I'm now at the half-way point. Additionally, I have three further audiobooks and two dramas to record, all before the end of October...
So before my head explodes at the prospect, I'll end this brief update with the inclusion of a 'Cinematic Trailer' I recorded recently for Games Workshop. Play it loud and I hope you 'enjoy'!
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.