Mayes went to the University of Cambridge where he graduated cum laude in Ancient Languages. He joined the BBC and also became a priest in the Church of England. He later moved to the United States, where he was a founding chairman of the National Public Radio and held a parish near San Francisco. He was an active campaigner of civil welfare, setting up suicide counselling in California and campaigning for LGBT rights, being a homosexual himself.
Mayes became involved in radio plays when he, with his classic background, translated the works of Homer, Aeschylus and Plato from the Greek. He later also did the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Dickens.
- 1979: The Hobbit (1979 radio series): Gandalf
- 1979: The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series): Gandalf, Tom Bombadil
- 1979: The Hobbit (1979 radio series) (radio screenplay)
- 1979: The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series) (radio screenplay)