Coming June 6th…

Coming June 6th…
The Mercy Chair
"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." 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, 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 18 April 2020

Mr. Atkinson's Rum Contract

Good afternoon and welcome to today's lockdown-update. Despite the enforced 'inactivity' of the last few weeks, officially announced here in the UK on the evening of 23rd March, I've actually been pretty 'active'. 

As I mentioned in the last update, my industry, like many others, has effectively closed down for the time being and none of us can work, with the exception of those narrators and actors who have access to a home studio and are able to record 'remotely'. I've been doing my very best to acquire the necessary basic kit to record from home and there's still much to do. I've been learning how to use the recording equipment I now have and that's going well, although the learning curve is initially, quite steep. 

The most critical element in the whole set up, is of course, the actual recording environment. The electronic gadgetry required to record to professional industry standard, can be severely compromised by a badly 'sound-proofed' room. Creating a workable recording room is a considerable technical challenge and so, as a speedy and hopefully professional sounding alternative, I've been researching the kind of audio booth which can be bought as a self-assembly kit. I'm pursuading myself that to acquire such an isolation booth would be a 'sound investment' (sorry...), so if I can find something that will not only do the job, but also physically fit into my house, that looks like the next logical step to take. At the moment, I have created a makeshift temporary 'studio' environment, which sounds fine, but would easily pick up the sound of passing cars, barking dogs, grass cutting and any one of a thousand other things my equally locked-down neighbours might come up with; so a proper solution has to be found soonish as I'm losing work, which never sits well, whatever the reason.

Just before lock-down kicked in, I recorded the audio book detailed below, for Harper Collins. It was published in all formats on 16th April and is available to download via amazon and audible:

Richard Atkinson was in his late 30s and approaching a milestone he had long feared - the age at which his father died – when one day he came across a box of old family letters gathering dust in a cupboard.

This discovery set him on an all-consuming, highly emotional journey, ultimately taking him from the weather-beaten house of his Cumbrian ancestors to the ruins of their sugar estates in Jamaica.
Richard’s searches led him to one forebear in particular, an earlier Richard Atkinson, a brilliant but flawed West India merchant who had shipped all the British army’s supplies (including thousands of barrels of rum) during the American War of Independence and amassed staggering wealth and connections along the way. ‘Rum’ Atkinson died young, at the height of his powers, leaving a vast inheritance to his many nephews and nieces, as well as the society beauty who had refused his proposal of marriage; 40 years of litigation followed as his heirs wrangled over his legacy.

Drawing on their personal correspondence, Richard writes with rare candour about his worldly ancestors and their involvement in the slave trade – for, like many well-to-do Georgian families, the Atkinsons’ wealth was acquired at a terrible cost, through the blood, sweat and lives of enslaved Africans. When the first of the Atkinsons sailed to Jamaica in the 1780s, the island was the jewel in the imperial crown; when the last of them returned to England in the 1850s, it was an impoverished backwater. This vivid tale of a single family, their lives and loves, set against a panoramic backdrop of war, politics and slavery, offers a uniquely intimate insight into one of the most disturbing chapters in Britain’s colonial past.

Produced at RNIB Camden Studios by Tom Harrison & Narrated by John Banks

 Running length: 12 hours - 40 minutes

©2020 Richard Atkinson (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

As a neat little segue, during the recording of Mr. Atkinson at the RNIB studios, I was asked if I'd like to contribute to an RNIB Connect Radio program, hosted by author Red Szell. Now, as the idea of the interview was to talk about my various audio adventures, including the Mr. Atkinson story, I thought it churlish to say anything other than a gleeful - 'yes'!

The interview can be heard below; my ramblings start from around the 32 minute mark:

* * * * *

Just to round off today's posting; Thursday at 8pm here in the UK, has become the time we all briefly step out of our houses and flats, to applaud NHS staff and thank them for the amazing work they are doing at the moment, under incredibly difficult and dangerous conditions, dealing with this awful C-19 pandemic, which has impacted on all of us.

Over the last couple of months, my friends Christopher, Oliver and Tamara, along with family members, Sasha, Jamie, Benjie, Isabelle and Alex, have all had the coronavirus and have all, mercifully, come through without need of hospitalisation, which, as I'm sure you will appreciate, is a great relief. 

Keep safe & stay well.

...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