"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."

audible.co.uk 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 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 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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Saturday 30 June 2018

June 2018 audio releases...

...and breathe!

You find me dear reader, at the confluence of two fairly intensive periods of recording, where taking a deep breath is always a good idea.

I'm delighted that my ongoing work with the Black Library is rolling along at quite a pace and equally pleased to be embarking on the eight book series, mentioned in a previous posting, of Dorothy Dunnett's 'Niccolo Books', the first of which, 'Niccolo Rising', was completed yesterday. My sense is that the audiobook will have a running length around the 25 - 26 hour mark - and we recorded it in four working days, hence my current preoccupation with breathing...

Because of the aforementioned 'confluence', I shall be off to Nottingham tomorrow, ready to begin recording an audio book and three audio dramas next week, which need to be completed by close of play on Thursday, in time to prep for the second Niccolo book, 'Spring of The Ram', which starts recording the following Monday and which seems to be a bit longer than the first book; perhaps 26 - 27 hours running time.

Following straight on from the second Niccolo book will be the recording of a non-fiction book on the subject of 'serial killers', to be followed, guess what, by the third Niccolo book, 'Race of Scorpions', which will probably come in at around the 28 - 29 hour mark. In short; I'm scheduled to record five audio books in five weeks. No pressure then...

In the meantime, some of the stuff already recorded is, despite all efforts to the contrary, finding it's way onto the virtual and actual store shelves, all ready to be hoovered up by an insatiable public appetite for sounds to commute to, or build miniature armies to, or drive to, or whatever. Which is good!

Martyrs of Elysia

A Warhammer 40,000 audio drama

Accused of murdering a rival officer, veteran drop trooper Sergeant Zachariah must convince the ruthless Commissar Mastroval of his innocence if he is to survive.

A traitor’s death awaits Sergeant Zachariah of the 158th Elysian. Accused of murdering a rival officer, the veteran drop trooper must convince the ruthless Commissar Mastroval of his innocence if he is to survive.

As the interrogation reveals disturbing truths surrounding the high-ranking officer’s demise, Zachariah realises not all is as it seems. A secret he buried long ago, one perhaps even more condemning, is on the verge of being unearthed.

Written by Chris Dows, Produced by Matt Renshaw & Narrated by John Banks

* * * * *

Next up is this anthology of almost 'commuter length' audio dramas, which was released a couple of weeks ago by The Black Library; here are some details:

Shadespire: The Darkness in the Glass

A Warhammer Age of Sigmar audio anthology

In the shattered ruins of the City of Mirrors, three tales unfold. A Stormcast Eternal and Khorne Bloodreaver are linked by dreams of the past; a lone Stormcast seeks his brethren amidst the mirrors, and an aelven prince looks for something lost…

Long ago, the Katophranes of the city of Shadespire dared to defy their god. But in the Realm of Death, the ruler of the underworlds does not permit treachery, for Nagash rules all. To punish their attempts to cheat death, Nagash cursed Shadespire to an eternal half-life.

Now, centuries later, brave warriors enter the shattered remains of the Mirrored City in search of secrets and riches… and for other, darker purposes. The three tales in this audio drama anthology showcase the dangers and mysteries of Shadespire, as the Stormcast Eternals – and their allies and enemies alike – find themselves trapped, alone and in more danger than they could have possibly imagined.

Doombound by David Annandale
A Place of Reflection By David Guymer
The Autumn Prince by Guy Haley

Performed by:

John Banks, Ken Bradshaw, Tim Bruce, Beth Chalmers, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Matthew Hunt, Jonathan Keeble, 
Toby Longworth, Melvyn Rawlinson, Luis Soto & Andrew Wincott

Produced by Matt Renshaw

Each of these three audio dramas was previously available as part of the 2017 Black Library Advent Calendar.

* * * * * 

Released a couple of days ago, I'm very much looking forward to giving this audiobook a listen. I recorded it 'in house' at PRH Audio in London a few months ago and it's part of a series of similar history books and audio books, collectively known as 'Penguin Monarchs'.

Henry VIII: The Quest for Fame

Penguin Monarchs 

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Henry VIII: The Quest for Fame by John Guy, read by John Banks.

Henry VIII's reign transformed the physical and spiritual landscape of England. Magnificent, tyrannical, a strong ruler, a 'pillager of the commonwealth', this most notorious of kings remains a figure of extreme contradictions: a devout traditionalist who oversaw a cataclysmic rupture with the church in Rome, a talented, charismatic, imposing figure who nevertheless could not bear to meet people's eyes when he talked to them.

In this revealing new account, John Guy explores how Henry himself understood the world and his place in it - from his sheltered and increasingly isolated upbringing and the blazing glory of his
accession to his desperate quest for recognition, fame and an heir, and the terrifying paranoia of his last, agonising, 54-inch-waisted years - and in doing so casts new light on his choice of wives and ministers, his impact on the European stage and his extraordinary legacy.

Running length: 3 hours - 25 minutes

 Written by John Guy & Produced by Roy McMillan
 ©2014 John Guy (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

* * * * *
And that's just about it for this update I'm afraid to say; there's much more in the pipeline and I'll reveal details at the appropriate time. Before then, there's more work to do than I care to think about! A bit of homework for my Saturday night's frivoloity, followed by packing for my travels during the coming week.
Enjoy the sunny weather wherever you are and if it isn't sunny where you are, you have my sympathy, as I shall be confined to a variety of windowless recording studios for the next several weeks, well away from any kind of sunshine. Hope the World Cup goes well and Le Tour de France and the F1 GP season - missing you already! :-) 

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

Thursday 7 June 2018

The Puppet Show

Welcome to The Puppet Show....

                     "Expertly narrated by the annoyingly talented John Banks" M.W. Craven

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District's prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues, and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.
He is reluctantly partnered with brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst Tilly Bradshaw, and the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan, and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he's ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive....

 Unabridged Audiobook Length: 9 hrs and 46 min

©2018 M. W. Craven (P)2018 Hachette Audio UK

This is a fabulous novel which I thoroughly enjoyed recording. It's published today in all formats and in a short while, I'm off to the launch party at a bookshop in central London. I'm looking forward to meeting the author, Mike Craven; I rarely get to meet authors, so it should be a fun event.

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

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Rock and Roll is Life

Good afternoon! The quickest of quick updates I'm afraid; the current work situation involves a lot of preparation and I feel as though I'm in the foothills of the Himalayas, strapping on a couple of oxygen tanks and getting ready for the great ascent. As the information is already (!) available on the audible.co.uk web site, I can at least mention what I'm doing; which is unusual and means that I don't have to be 'coy' for the next six months!

Starting in late June, I'm scheduled to record the eight books of Dorothy Dunnett's 'The Niccolo Books' series, a project which should be fun and which certainly falls into the 'great challenge' category of narration. As far as I can estimate, the shortest of the eight books has a running time of about 24 hours; others are well up into the 30 hour plus range; a little bit like The Malazan series I did a couple of years ago I suppose.

However, in the meantime, I have three audio dramas to record next week and a non-Niccolo book in the first week of July, so, lots of prep as I'm sure you can imagine!

In the other meantime (?), here are some details of an audio book I recorded in April which was released at the end of May:

"Rock and Roll Is Life is the new novel from the country's leading man of letters, D. J. Taylor.  You may remember the Helium Kids. Back in their late '60s and early '70s heyday, they appeared on Top of the Tops on 27 separate occasions, released five Billboard-certified platinum albums, played sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden and were nearly, but not quite, as big as the Beatles and the Stones.

Three decades later, in the big house on the outskirts of Norwich, Nick Du Pont is looking back on the roller-coaster years he spent as their publicist in a world of licensed excess and lurking tragedy. What follows is not only the story of a rock band at a formative time in musical history, when America was opening up to English music and huge amounts of money and self-gratification were there for the taking.

For the tale is also Nick's - the life and times of a war baby born in a Norwich council house, the son of an absconding GI, whose career is a search for some of the advantages that his birth denied him. It is at once a worm's eye of British pop music's golden age and a bittersweet personal journey, with cameo appearances from everyone from Elvis and Her Majesty the Queen Mother to Andy Warhol.

Rock and Roll Is Life is a vastly entertaining, picaresque and touching novel inspired by the excess and trajectories of the great '60s and '70s supergroups and of the tales brought back from the front line by a very special breed of Englishmen who made it big in the States as the alchemists and enablers, as well as the old making way for the new in the era of the baby boomers.

At its heart is one man's adventure and the poignancy of the special relationships that dominate his life."

©2018 D. J. Taylor (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

* * * * * 

Tomorrow, 7th June, sees the release of M.W. Craven's fabulous novel "The Puppet Show", which I also recorded in April. The audio book and printed novel are being released simultaneously and I've been invited to the launch party tomorrow evening. Having had no opportunity to listen to the recording yet, my fingers are very firmly crossed in the hope that I haven't made a horrrible mess of it! That aside, it should be a fun evening; I'll let you know... !

...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