Live updates


Brenda Blethyn: 'Wonderful' to think Vera has helped North East tourism

The North East crime drama, Vera, which has been been a tourism magnet for the region, is set for a return with a 5th series this weekend on April 5th at 8pm.

Ahead of the premiere Brenda Blethyn has told ITV News Tyne Tees how she is far from tired of playing the no-nonsense detective and about her favourite North East spots:

Watch Pam Royle's full interview with Brenda Blethyn at 6pm tonight.

"Vera" author to be honoured by university

A best-selling author who created the fictional North East detective "Vera", will be presented with an honourary Doctorate of Letters from Sunderland University today.

Ann Cleeves is an immensely successful writer, and the mind behind one of ITV's biggest crime dramas.

Ann Cleeves at the Crime Thriller Awards. Credit: ITV Pictures

Four series of Vera, the ITV adaptation starring Brenda Blethyn, have been broadcast in the UK, and sold worldwide, and a fifth is in preparation.

Brenda Blethyn, and "Vera" co-star David Leon Credit: ITV Productions

Ann Cleeves said:

“I’m a North Easterner by choice, not by birth. It’s easier to write about a place as an outsider. People who live in the region perhaps sometimes take for granted just how beautiful the region is, and how nice people here are.”

ITV crime drama Vera returns to Northumberland

Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhlope Credit: ITV

Filming has begun in the North East for series five of the ITV crime drama Vera.

Brenda Blethyn has reprised her role as DCI Vera Stanhope alongside actor Kenny Doughty, who will join the show as DS Aiden Healy.

The four new episodes, based on the characters created by novelist Ann Cleeves, will be broadcast next year.

Prior to filming Brenda said: “ I am so happy to be embarking on series five. Northumberland here we come!’

Filming will continue until Autumn 2014.

Click here to watch Brenda Blethyn on Lorraine.