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He attended Boteler Grammar School in Warrington.
Banks worked in journalism through the 1970s, and developed a friendship with Kelvin MacKenzie. By 1979, Banks was assistant chief sub-editor at the Daily Mirror, then went to work with MacKenzie at the New York Post. In 1981, Mackenzie returned to the UK, and Banks became managing editor of the Post, but in 1983 followed MacKenzie back to work at The Sun as Assistant Editor. He led strikebreakers during the Wapping dispute.
In 1986, Banks returned to New York as editor of the Daily News but, the following year, he moved on to become Deputy Editor of The Australian, then in 1988 Editor of the Sydney Daily Telegraph. In 1992, he returned to the UK to become Editor of the Mirror, then in 1994 became Editorial Director of the Mirror Group Consultant Editor of the Sunday Mirror.
He married Gemma Newton in 1975 in Wales. They have a daughter (born 1978) and a son (born 1982).
| Editor of the Daily Mirror