Vera: Brenda Blethyn confirms departure as Northumberland detective with filming set for last series

Brenda Blethyn has starred as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope since 2011 but the 14th series of the programme will be its last. Credit: PA

Brenda Blethyn has announced that she will leave Vera after more than a decade - with the long-running detective show set to come to an end.

The programme, set in Northumberland, will return for a 14th and final series in the form of two 120-minute episodes to be filmed this summer.

Based on the Vera Stanhope novels written by North East writer Ann Cleeves, the show has been a regular fixture of Sunday evening television since 2011.

Blethyn has starred in the role throughout, even winning the Rose d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award for her portrayal of the detective in 2021.

“Working on Vera has been a joy from beginning to end and I’m sad to be saying Cheerio," the 78-year-old said. "But I am so proud of our achievements over the last 14 years.

“I’ll be forever grateful to the wonderful Ann Cleeves who created Vera, and to Elaine Collins who saw fit to cast me in the role.

“The producers, dream cast and crew have been fabulous and I’m going to miss them, but I won’t forget their huge talent, the camaraderie, laughter or kindness we shared nor the friendship of the people of the North East and our fans worldwide. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Brenda Blethyn won the Rose d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award for her portrayal of Vera in 2021. Credit: ITV Studios

Executive producer Kate Bartlett has worked on many of the series since the show’s inception and thanked Blethyn, Cleeves and the whole crew for their efforts.

"It is the end of an era and has been an extraordinary journey over 14 amazing series of Vera," she said.

“So many wonderful and talented people have been involved in the making of Vera across all the series, but none of us would be here without two incredible women: firstly, the absolutely extraordinary talent of the inimitable Brenda Blethyn.

“She is brilliant as DCI Vera Stanhope, a truly iconic character of our times. And – of course – the amazing Ann Cleeves, author of the original novels and creator of DCI Vera Stanhope.

“We will all be very sad to say goodbye to Brenda and everyone involved in making the show.”

All 13 seasons of Vera are available to stream on ITVX.

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