Brenda Blethyn to quit Vera as long-running detective show films final series

Brenda Blethyn has announced that she will leave Vera after more than a decade starring in the long-running ITV detective show.

The 78-year-old English actress will return for a 14th and final series as the unorthodox trench coat wearing Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope.

Blethyn said: “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 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.

BFI and Radio Times Television Festival
Brenda Blethyn said that working on Vera had been ‘a joy from the beginning to the end’ (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“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.”

She will film her last season this summer, which will bring more stories of murder mysteries from the North East of England in the form of two 120 minute episodes.

Blethyn won the Rose d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021 for Vera and has starred in the series since 2011.

The drama is based on the Vera Stanhope novels written by Ann Cleeves, whose works have also been adapted into the TV shows Shetland and The Long Call.

BFI and Radio Times Television Festival
The drama is based on the Vera Stanhope novels by Ann Cleeves (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Silverprint Pictures creative director Kate Bartlett has been an executive producer on many of the series since the show’s inception.

She said: “It is the end of an era and has been an extraordinary journey over 14 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.”

Blethyn is also known for her critically acclaimed film work, earning an Oscar nomination for her role in Secrets & Lies and picking up a Bafta and Golden Globe for the 1996 comedy drama.

She was given best supporting actress nods by the Academy Awards and Bafta for the musical Little Voice.

Blethyn has also earned Bafta nominations for 2004 family drama Belonging and 2005 period drama Pride And Prejudice.