End of a Vera: Brenda Blethyn quits role as iconic detective as show set to end after 14 series

Brenda Blethyn and Vera cast members spotted filming scenes in Redcar
Brenda Blethyn and Vera cast members spotted filming scenes in Redcar -Credit:Terry Blackburn

Brenda Blethyn has quit her role as Vera Stanhope after 14 series, ITV has announced.

The award-winning actress will be parking up her Land Rover Defender for the final time following the filming of series 14 later this summer. Brenda has played the famous detective since the popular show began on ITV back in 2011.

Over the last decade, Vera, which is based on a series of books from author Ann Cleeves, has filmed across several popular spots around the North-east and Teesside. Chronicle Live reports that the series will come to an end after two last two-hour feature-length tales, both set to air in 2025.

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The 78-year-old's emotional statement was published in The Mirror: “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. 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 as DCI Vera Stanhope -Credit:SCU

The show's creative director Kate Bartlett said: “It is the end of an era and has been an extraordinary journey over fourteen amazing series of Vera. 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.”

Just last summer, film crews were spotted on the Redcar Esplanade and Hartlepool headland, with many fans posing for pictures with Brenda and co-star David Leon.

Teesside Live reported how the front of popular chippy Chips R Russ and next doors Sprinkles were transformed into the fictional 'Simmons Fish and Chips' and 'Miss Swirls' as filming got underway for the show. Leading lady Brenda was then spotted outside Beacon Bingo as filming got underway on series 13.

Fans have already commented on the sad news, with one person saying that after 14 years, "she deserves to be retired." One person said: "Devastating news. That is the end of Vera. No one can take her place that [would] be a disaster. A brilliant actress."

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