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.
Age of Sigmar Dominion
Kragnos Broken Realms
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Dalek Universe 2
Saturday, 17 July 2021
Good afternoon - and what a beautiful hot summer's day it is here in the UK; a weekend complete with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and the final stage of this year's incredible Tour de France. I'm very much looking forward to some excellent racing on two wheels and four and maybe, just a bit of history will made on the Champs-Élysées, if Mark Cavendish takes his 35th Stage win; fingers crossed! The climax of the sporting action comes tomorrow afternoon and I shall miss it all, as I'll be driving to a hotel some distance away from home, in order to start work on an audiobook recording on Monday morning; but more of that later.
Checking my diary, I note that in June of last year, I recorded a Doctor Who audio drama from my brand new home studio; only the second time I'd used it and only a few weeks since it had all been set up. Remote recording can be tricky at the best of times and linking up multiple home studios to perform a drama, is an adventure into the unknown and continually offers the possibility of jumping head first into a technological abyss. Mercifully, I stayed hooked up to everyone else and didn't have any problems, although other cast members weren't so lucky and we did have a few enforced 'time-outs' to re-connect.
By the strangest of coincidences, at the beginning of our recording day, as we chatted amongst ourselves and went through a series of checks on the various bits of gadgetry we were all using, David T, asked why he recognised my voice. I reminded him that we'd worked together before and met a number of times. In fact, he knew all that of course and said that he'd just been listening to my audio version of H.G. Wells' The War of The Worlds and suddenly, there I was, in his ears again. It would have been awkward if he hadn't liked the recording, though he was kind enough to say that he had enjoyed it, which was lovely to hear and kicked things off in a very good way.
So the end result of all our fun and games is this latest box-set release of 10th Doctor stories called Dalek Universe 2 and here are some details:
These tales take the Tenth Doctor, Anya Kingdom and Mark Seven deeper into family histories, aboard the strangest of space stations and to a truth that might tear them apart...
2.1 Cycle of Destruction* by Roy Gill
After Mark starts behaving oddly, the Doctor and Anya find themselves on a strange planet with their friend missing. Searching for him they find their way to an isolated research base. The corridors show signs of animal incursions and the scientists are behaving strangely. But a big surprise is waiting for them.
Because this is where Mark Seven came from. They’re about to find out who he is. But is that information too dangerous to know?
*This is the cover art for Cycle of Destruction, which is the episode I'm performing in.
2.2 The Trojan Dalek by John Dorney
The Doctor, Mark and Anya head for an SSS space station searching for the missing temporal scientist, Arborecc. But the officer in charge denies all knowledge of his presence and demands their departure.
Unwilling to leave so easily, the group split up to investigate... and uncover a heinous plot involving the Doctor’s oldest foes. Or do they?
2.3 The Lost by Robert Valentine
When the Doctor’s latest scheme to get back to the future fails, the team’s ship crashes on a strange world, potentially trapping them for ever.
Searching for replacement parts, they find their way to a building where heart-breakingly familiar faces await them.
Lies are about to be exposed. Everyone will learn the truth. And nothing will be the same again.
This boxset release contains all three stories, plus additional behind the scenes interviews.
John Banks (Crispin Torr / Jason Four) Pippa Bennett-Warner (Fliss Keeley)
Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks) Barnaby Edwards (Arborecc)
Avita Jay (Moran Kez / Hera) Kevin McNally (Merrick Kingdom)
Leighton Pugh (The Lost ) Blake Ritson (Major McLinn)
Directed by Ken Bentley & Produced by David Richardson
4 discs - 240 minutes
* * * * *
Other than Dalek Universe 2, work continues apace and as I mentioned above, I'm about to spend a week in a professional studio, recording a densely written and extremely challenging audiobook. I confess to feeling a little nervous about launching in on it, as I often do with the trickier stuff; on the one hand, it offers huge opportunities to have fun as a narrator/performer and on the other hand, a terrific opportunity to screw it up spectacularly! Full details will be available in due course, probably quite soon I would have thought, so I'll go into the particular challenges of the book, once it's done and dusted and I have had the experience of wrestling it into submission...
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the new Who adventures, if that's your kind of thing and as usual, I'll wrap up by saying...
...that's all for now; more just as soon as it happens!
Wednesday, 30 June 2021
The Secret Refuge: fifth in the series of Path of The Ranger titles was released recently and here are some details:
Only the best have access to the Elite Specializations of the Rangers. Will the Snow Panthers make it?
The war goes on in Norghana. The East supports the new King, while the West supports Arnold Olafstone, the legitimate heir to the crown. In the North the Wild of the Ice claim their lands. In the midst of the war, Lasgol and his teammates have graduated as Rangers.
They must decide whether to take the Specialization Test. If they do, and pass it, they will have access to training as Specialist Rangers and be able to opt for one of the elite specializations. For this they will need to go to a hidden, secret place: The Shelter. It is rumored to be somewhere special, secret and arcane.
Will Lasgol take the Specialization Test? Will he pass it? Will his friends? Who will make it and who will not? What new adventures are waiting for them at the Shelter?
Sunday, 13 June 2021
Good afternoon and welcome to this latest update, slightly delayed alas, due primarily, to the workload of recent days. Over the last couple of years, I've become a great fan of author MW Craven's books and have been privileged to record his latest stories, as well as his 'back catalogue' of earlier work.
Several weeks ago, I found myself back at Ladbroke Audio, with producer Neil Gardner, to record the fourth audio book of the series. Once again, I had great fun working with Neil and can't wait to hear the finished recording. In the meantime, here are some details:
Detective Sergeant Washington Poe is in court, fighting eviction from his beloved and isolated croft, when he is summoned to a backstreet brothel in Carlisle where a man has been beaten to death with a baseball bat. Poe is confused - he hunts serial killers and this appears to be a straightforward murder-by-pimp - but his attendance was requested personally, by the kind of people who prefer to remain in the shadows.
As Poe and the socially awkward programmer Tilly Bradshaw delve deeper into the case, they are faced with seemingly unanswerable questions: despite being heavily vetted for a high-profile job, why does nothing in the victim's background check out? Why was a small ornament left at the murder scene - and why did someone on the investigation team steal it? And what is the connection to a flawlessly executed bank heist three years earlier, a heist where nothing was taken?
Monday, 31 May 2021
So you wait and you wait and you wait for a new release, or even an update, a teaser, just to whet the appetite - and then three come along on the same day! In some ways, the nature of the 'multi-story' release, is in keeping with the recording schedule, which essentially took the form of a week's prep, followed by a week in the studio; a busy six weeks in other words!
If you're a dedicated Black Library fan, you may remember that the original Dark Imperium and Plague War, were released some time ago. I enjoyed recording them and they seemed to be popular stories. Indeed, for a short time, the audio book of Dark Imperium, produced by Kylia Whitehead, topped the Audible Top 100 All Categories chart, which Matt Renshaw and I, quietly celebrated.
With this current release, Dark Imperium and Plague War have been amended, so as not to contradict elements of the vast story arc of the new Dawn of Fire series, which I began recording last autumn. Godblight is entirely new. I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I enjoyed recording them; produced once again by the fabulous Kylia Whitehead, who just about kept my head from exploding, throughout our hefty three weeks in studio.
Without further ado then, here are details of The Dark Imperium trilogy:
Audiobook 1 of the Dark Imperium trilogy.
The first phase of the Indomitus Crusade is over, and the conquering primarch, Roboute Guilliman, sets his sights on home. The hordes of his traitorous brother, Mortarion, march on Ultramar, and only Guilliman can hope to thwart their schemes with his Primaris Space Marine armies.
Fell times have come to the galaxy. Cadia has fallen, destroyed by the onslaught of Chaos. A Great Rift in the warp has opened, and from its depths spew daemons and the horrors of Old Night.
But all hope is not lost… A hero, long absent, has returned, and with him comes the wrath of the Ultramarines reborn. Roboute Guilliman has arisen to lead the Imperium out of darkness on a crusade the likes of which has not been seen since the fabled days of the Emperor.
But never before have the forces of Ruin amassed in such numbers, and nowhere is safe from despoliation. From the dreaded Scourge Stars come the hordes of the Plaguefather, Lord Nurgle, and their pustulent eye is fixed on Macragge. As the Indomitus Crusade rages on, Guilliman races to Ultramar and a confrontation with the Death Guard.
* * * * *
Audiobook two of the Dark Imperium trilogy.
As the Plague Wars rage on, the Emperor's will manifests in Ultramar through miracles that confound the primarch Roboute Guilliman, even as he must rely on them when he faces his traitorous brother, Mortarion.
The battle between faith and science lies at the heart of Warhammer 40,000. Guy Haley explores it here as never before, through the eyes of Roboute Guilliman - the ultimate believer in rationality and the Imperial Truth.
In the void and upon the worlds of Greater Ultramar, the battle for the Imperium continues.
Intent on rebuilding his home realm and using it as a base to reconstruct the ravaged stellar empire of mankind, the returned primarch, Roboute Guilliman, proceeds with his war to drive Mortarion and his Death Guard Traitor Legion from the domain of the Ultramarines.
But when Guilliman brings his brother to battle upon the diseased plains of Parmenio, the intervention of a greater power in their fraternal struggle threatens to upend the Imperial Regent’s understanding of the galaxy, and his place within it.
Primarchs and ideologies clash in this thrilling second part of the Dark Imperium trilogy.
* * * * *
Audiobook 3 of the Dark Imperium trilogy.
The destinies of primarch and Imperial Regent Roboute Guilliman and his traitorous brother Mortarion come together for the climactic battle of the Plague Wars.
While Guilliman attempts to prevent the destruction of his kingdom, Mortarion schemes to bring his brother low with the Godblight, a disease created in the Cauldron of Nurgle itself, made with the power to destroy a son of the Emperor.
Primarchs clash on the ravaged landscapes of Iax. The gods go to war and the wider galaxy balances on a knife-edge of destruction. As something powerful stirs in the sea of souls, only one thing is certain – no matter who wins the last great clash of the Plague War, the repercussions of victory will echo through eternity....
Written by Guy Haley, Produced by Kylia Whitehead & Narrated by John Banks
Thursday, 22 April 2021
Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
* * * * *
April! How can it possibly be April already? Time for a very quick update!
Oddly perhaps, so far this year, there have only been a couple of releases, although, slightly belatedly, I can now mention the latest instalment of the Path of The Ranger series and here are some details:
Treason in The North
The campaign in the Frozen Continent has failed. War returns to Norghana, and with it death and destruction.
Uthar has been defeated in the Frozen Continent. Wounded, he retreats
to Norghania to regroup his forces and shield himself behind the walls
of the capital.
Lasgol and his friends will try to pass the
fourth and final year of instruction and graduate as Rangers on their
own merits. To do this they will have to take part in deeply dangerous
missions and help the king against the invaders. The companions are
divided, they must choose between supporting either the Rangers and the
king or Darthor and the Western League. If they decide to support
Darthor, they will be committing treason and will pay with their lives
if they are found out.
Darthor and the Western League make an
alliance to defeat Uthar and attack the king before he can make himself
strong once again. Lasgol and his friends will find themselves involved
in the offensive to take the capital and dethrone Uthar.
hosts of the Frozen Continent led by Darthor and the forces of the
Western League manage to take both capital and crown from King Uthar? Or
will it instead be Uthar who comes out victorious? Who will survive?
Who will perish? Will Lasgol and his friends unmask the true traitor?
Will they survive the fourth year of instruction and the war and
graduate as Rangers?
Written by Pedro Urvi, Produced by Emily Derr & Narrated by John Banks
Running length: 11 hours - 59 minutes
©2021 Pedro Urvi (P)2021 Podium Audio
...all for now; more just as soon as it happens!
Tuesday, 16 February 2021
Good morning and welcome to news of the latest audio release and the continuation of the epic Path of The Ranger saga. Here are some details:
Mystery In The Tundra
The war is intensifying. So is the training at the Camp. Will Lasgol and his friends survive both?
The Corrupt Lord of the Ice has been rejected. King Uthar is seeking to kill him once and for all. But Darthor has retreated to the Frozen Continent with his forces.
Lasgol and his friends are making every effort to pass their third year of instruction, where the tests change from practical competitions to real missions and where they risk their lives. Conflicts, rivalries, and love will emerge more strongly than ever. Egil and Lasgol will discover the truth about the king's secret and the identity of the real enemy. They will choose sides and try to persuade their teammates.
King Uthar will invade the Frozen Continent with his hosts to put an end to Darthor. The Rangers, including Lasgol and his friends, will find themselves involved in the campaign of war. They will discover the Mystery of the Tundra in the Frozen Continent and take part in the great battle for the North.
Written by Pedro Urvi and Narrated by John Banks
Running length: 12 hours - 30 minutes
©2020 Pedro Urvi (P)2021 Podium Audio
And after the briefest of pauses to catch up, it's back to work for me now, prepping a fabulous audio book, scheduled to be recorded next week, which means that's...
...all for now; more just as soon as it happens!
Sunday, 7 February 2021
...and already, this '2021' adventure has begun and indeed, is alreaady a month old - how can that possibly be?
I hope the holiday season was a good one for you, despite the continuing pandemic. With my eternal sense of optimism intact, my hopes are very much that the latest variety of vaccines, which have been developed so incredibly quickly, will prove to be effective and we can all safely start to take up our regular lives again. In a recent Tweet, someone was kind enough to say, that my Black Library audio books had provided a route to escapism for them over the last several months of restriction and lockdown, which was an extremely gratifying thing to be told and I'm grateful indeed to that person for expressing such a sentiment.
My 2021 is continuing pretty much where my 2020 ended, though if anything, the pace and intensity has ramped up even more and I'm now looking to the end of June as a first opportunity to take a little 'time-out'; though whether events will swallow up such a notion of rest & recreation, we shall have to wait and see.
I'm recording at roughly the rate of one book every other week at the moment and I'm about to complete the third book of this year, before seamlessly shifting into prep mode for a very exciting series of books, much more of which, in a few months time.
I have to say, that I'm very much looking forward to the first audio book release of this year; I went out on a bit of a limb for this story and what I did, might have worked, or might not. My fingers are firmly crossed that it will be a success, though I can assure you, the story itself is well worth checking out.
Following on from Dawn of Fire - Avenging Son, here are some details:
Dawn of Fire: The Gate of Bones
Book 2 of the Dawn of Fire series
As the Indomitus Crusade spreads across the Imperium Sanctus, the cardinal world Gathalamor is caught in the grip of war – but when an ancient evil is unearthed, the entire crusade is threatened…
As the Indomitus Crusade begins, fleets of mighty warships leave Terra on a vital quest to stabilise Imperium Sanctus in the wake of the Great Rift. The returned primarch, Roboute Guilliman, leads a huge force towards the shrine world of Gathalamor, where stable warp routes will allow the flotilla to spread across the beleaguered southern half of the Imperium.
But grave tidings reach the Imperial Regent’s ears. Warnings from an ancient race, and eerie silence from the army tasked with holding Gathalamor until his arrival, lead Guilliman to send a reconnaissance mission to the world, at its head, Shield-Captain Achallor of the Adeptus Custodes.
Achallor discovers a world on the brink: a beaten Imperial force and sinister agents of Abaddon the Despoiler who have unearthed an ancient evil – a weapon that when harnessed not only threatens the primarch, but perhaps the holy Throne of Terra itself…
Written by Andy Clark & Narrated by John Banks
Produced by Tara Rawson
Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins*
* * * * *
*there is a discrepancy in the running length between the BL web site and Audible; the time quoted above is from Audible and sounds about right - I look forward to finding out definitively!
* * * * *
As it's now evening here in the UK, I'll wrap up for today. Having recorded a couple of chapters of the current book, earlier this afternoon, I feel I can let it go for today and treat myself to a cold beer. Back to work in the morning!
...all for now; more just as soon as it happens!
The Moggotkin of Nurgle
Kragnos Broken Realms
The Lore of Direchasm
A C'tan Shard Rises 3
Indomitus: Necrons 2
A Lord Among the Stars 1
Angels of Death Preview
Warcry: Death or Glory
Reviews & comments:
Mr. Banks does superb work, and I recommend the audiobooks wholeheartedly!
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
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
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)
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