"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

Hello...

...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 250* 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 165* audio books I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including audible.co.uk, Hachette, HarperCollins, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at April 2019)

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...

Games Workshop

Games Workshop

Warcry: Death or Glory

The Moggotkin of Nurgle

Death's Mercy

Death's Mercy

Released January 2019...

Released January 2019...

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Tuesday, 9 April 2019

In The Closet Of The Vatican

Well, I did say there was more coming soon, though perhaps I always do - mea culpa! And speaking of 'mea culpa' (what a segue!), here are details of a non-fiction audio book released today from Audible Studios:

"In the Closet of the Vatican is a fascinating description and evaluation of financial, sexual and political misconduct throughout the Catholic Church at a time when new revelations are being uncovered each and every week. This audiobook explores the underlying causes and includes interviews with numerous Cardinals and other individuals, some of whom cannot be named. 


Martel reveals financial scandals in the Vatican bank; political collusion with unsavoury regimes, including Castro’s Cuba and Pinochet’s Chile; sexual abuse and hypocrisy over homosexuality. In this explosive account, Martel goes to the heart of corruption in the Catholic Church and inside the Vatican itself."

Narrated by John Banks & Produced by Ben Carpenter

22 hours - 19 minutes


©2019 Frederic Martel (P)2019 Audible Studios

* * * * *


This was a tricky and challenging book to work on and I'm grateful indeed to producer Ben Carpenter for his considerable input and support throughout the seven day recording period.We had actually scheduled eight studio days, but wrapped it up a day and a half early - which was pleasing in the sense of knowing that we'd been efficient and that the oceans of prep this book required, had paid off. 

In saying that, we still took phenomenal care to ensure, as accurately as possible, that personal and place names were pronounced correctly. On occasion, we had to choose not to be absolutely accurate, which seems odd perhaps. As an example, General Augusto Pinochet, former President of Chile; here in the UK, 'Pinochet' is pronounced 'pin-oh-shay', whereas a Chilean friend of mine assures me it should be 'pin-oh-CHett'. Ben and I discussed this and numerous other, similar examples, throughout the recording and a lot of time was spent deciding which was the better option - go with what the majority of listeners would identify as being 'correct' or being strictly accurate and running the risk of actually sounding 'incorrect'. 

With a running length of over 22 hours, the book had hundreds of names and locations to research and the actual amount of (unpaid!) preparation soon racked up into the many tens of hours - hence being so pleased that after such a full on effort, we managed to complete ahead of schedule.

Non-fiction can be a strange genre to record as so many decisions have to be made, in addition to those alluded to above, with regard to characters who are directly quoted. Should the narrator attempt to sound like the person whose actual words are being used, always assuming that it's even possible to discover how a particular person might have sounded in real life? If I'm voicing quotations by Winston Churchill, should I attempt to mimic his vocal idiosyncrasies. In a non-fiction audio book I recorded on the Russian Revolution, should I have given Stalin a Russian accent, or even more specifically, a Georgian accent? Should personal and place names be 'Anglicised' or should we attempt to voice them in their respective 'native' tongues? In this book on The Vatican, and indeed, in the other non-fiction books I have recorded, the producer and I have always chosen to 'flavour' a character voice, but not to mimic, which I think makes sense. For this book, Ben and I also decided not to 'anglicise' and made a concerted effort to voice 'authentic' sounding names as far as we were able, though given the 'catholic' nature of Catholicism, we encountered people and place names from all over the world - and some of them were mighty tricky to pronounce!

Regular visitors to these pages may well have little interest in a non-fiction book on the politics of The Vatican, however, if it is of interest to you, I hope you enjoy listening - I'll be there with you! 

As is often the case, there's a short audio sample from the book on the Audible web site; just type my name into the search window and anything I've done, for audible.co.uk or other publishers, should be there. It's perhaps worth saying that many, perhaps all, (200 +) of my Big Finish audio drama recordings might also be available via the audible web site, though as the cast lists are often long, it may be that I don't always make the cut - I think they list a maximum of five actors per recording.

But enough; my ramblings are running almost as long as the book, so I'll end by saying - that's...


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

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

Highlander:

...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

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