Brenda Blethyn waves to fans as she films final Vera episodes amid replacement rumours

Brenda Blethyn has been spotted greeting admirers while shooting the very last episodes of the beloved ITV series Vera.

The acclaimed actress, who stars as the iconic DCI Vera Stanhope, is wrapping up the long-running show with two final instalments set to be filmed in the north of England.

Production is underway in Gateshead, where Brenda was seen cheerfully acknowledging fans who turned up to catch a glimpse of the action, in pictures obtained by the Mirror.

These concluding episodes will form the fourteenth and ultimate series of the ITV crime drama, which has followed Vera's investigative journey, initially alongside DS Joe Ashworth (David Leon), later joined by DS Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty), and then welcoming back Joe, now promoted to DI.

There will be one more series of Vera
Brenda Blethyn is currently shooting the final episodes of the beloved ITV series Vera -Credit:ITV

Reflecting on her departure from the series, Brenda expressed: "Working on Vera has been a joy from beginning to end and I'm sad to be saying cheerio. But I am so proud of our achievements over the last fourteen years."

She continued with gratitude: "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."

The 77-year-old has played DCI Vera Stanhope on the show for 14 years -Credit:rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Image
The 77-year-old has played DCI Vera Stanhope on the show for 14 years -Credit:rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Image

Viewers have suggested the series could carry on in some form with either Aiden or Joe taking the lead.

One fan suggested: "Maybe there'll be a spin-off series with Joe or Aiden leading the team," while another added: "They are filming two more episodes this summer, so perhaps Vera retires and Joe takes over?"

A third viewer commented: "Joe's the man for the job," with another simply saying: "I would love a spin-off."

Actress Ibinabo Jack, who plays DC Jacqueline Williams, thinks there could be a different way of bringing the show back.

When asked if the end of Brenda Blethyn's involvement meant the end of Vera, she told BBC Breakfast's Jon Kay: "Unless they did a prequel? Like early days? "

Host Sally Nugent agreed, saying: "A prequel is a fabulous idea! That's what we need to know, more of Vera's backstory. It's a genius idea! "

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