"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

War of Secrets

War of Secrets
JB narrated audio book

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 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 187* 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 2020)

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...

Fabius Bile: Manflayer

Fabius Bile: Manflayer
available now

Soul Wars

Games Workshop

Games Workshop

The Revelation of The Word

The Moggotkin of Nurgle

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Saturday, 5 September 2020

...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. 

 

                                                                                                                     John Keats 


You know, I have read these lines so many times, yet I've just noticed, that the whole stanza is a single sentence. I love this poem, 'To Autumn' by Keats; but you knew that.
 
Autumn is my favourite time of year; late summer has always felt like the end or culmination of the year and autumn, the beginning of a new cycle and a new year. For some reason, at this time of year, I've always experienced a sense of excitement about the future and it's endless possibilities. Perhaps as a consequence of our worldwide collective fate this year, my sense of change and renewal is even stronger and I look forward to what's to come with great enthusiasm and optimism. I'm already aware, that professionally at least, renewal is well under way.
 
Allow me to elucidate. Regular dippers into this blog, will know that gaps and delays in updating, usually correspond to periods of activity, rather than the opposite and that is certainly true of current circumstances.
 
As this month of September began, I found myself working on three concurrent series of audio book recordings, along with various other 'one-off' projects, to keep things lively and interesting. Less than a week old and September has offered up another audio book series and a further variety of 'one-offs', which will keep me very fully occupied, potentially for several months, if not several years to come; 'mellow fruitfulness' indeed!  
 
Because of the pandemic and lockdown, there is inevitably a bit of a gap in terms of output and so, this month, I have nothing to talk about in terms of new releases, though, be assured, things are getting busier now that lockdown is easing. In addition to home recordings, I've just spent the last week in a professional studio, recording a new audio book; the first time working away from home since February! And there's more to come very soon. 
 
A couple of years ago, as mentioned in these pages at the time (still here if you scroll down and go to 'older posts') I found myself working 'at capacity', as I described it, on a series of books by Dorothy Dunnett, 'The House of Niccolo'. In some ways, it was unhealthy to do so much in such a concentrated period of time; lack of sleep being a paramount concern, though the work itself benefitted I think, from being part of a seamless process. Despite the lack of rest and anything approaching a 'normal' life, my voice and performance levels were fully tuned up; in fact, for that fifteen week period of intense activity, there was never a time when I wasn't in work mode and I ended up recording something like 252 hours of narration, along with four audio drama productions.
 
Clearly, that level of output would eventually become impossible to sustain; book recording towards the end of the fifteen weeks, had become physically uncomfortable, as sitting for such extended periods of time, put bizarre stresses on my body. I promised myself that I would never repeat that level of work, though it's starting to look like the next several weeks will be just as intense. Just thinking about what has to be done between now and Christmas is almost too overwhelming to contemplate, so I'll have to mentally compartmentalise each project, so that I don't get ahead of myself. 
 
I'm currently recording a book a week and the next one starts on Monday, so I have homework to do today and tomorrow. I've already done quite a bit of work on the text, so it ought to be just a case of reminding myself of the narrative and characters, rather than having to start from scratch.
 
I can't close a posting without adding an image and a bit of 'media'. The Drama Channel here in the UK, is currently broadcasting the entirety of 'Allo, 'Allo, a tv sit-com I worked on in the late '80's (!!!) and to coincide with the re-run, I was asked to record an interview podcast and if I can sort out the tec, it should appear via this link,  'Allo, 'Allo, along with an image of me from the closing credits of a particular episode.  
 
Apologies for posting a link rather than the podcast app; it's no longer possible to directly embed HTML code apparently!
 
I was 'John Readman' in those days, because another actor already had my name and Equity regulations prevented two actors having the same one; John Banks is my real name - but you knew that too.

 

 
Thanks as always for stopping by, that's...
 
 
...all for now; more just as soon as it happens!
 

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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