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ITV's Vera to end after 14 years as Brenda Blethyn leaves show - read emotional statement

The show will end with its 14th season

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
22 April 2024
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ITV's popular crime drama Vera is coming to an end after 14 years as its star Brenda Blethyn calls time on the series. 

The 78-year-old actress has portrayed Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope since the show first debuted back in 2011. 

In a statement, Brenda revealed that she would be stepping down from her role, bringing the show to a close with its 14th season.

Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope in Vera Christmas special 

© Stuart Wood/ITV
Brenda Blethyn is stepping away from the show after 14 years

"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 said. 

"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," she added. 

Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope, David Leon as DI Joe Ashworth in Vera series 13 © Stuart Wood/ITV
The show will end with series 14

Brenda's announcement won't come as a huge shock to fans as the star has previously spoken about her desire to step away from the show. 

WATCH: Vera actress Brenda Blethyn talks long filming schedule for ITV show

Ahead of the drama's 13th season, Brenda revealed that she wouldn't have returned to the series had David Leon not agreed to reprise his role as DI Joe Ashworth, and that she wasn't planning on filming "many more" episodes. 

DAVID LEON as DI Joe Ashworth and BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope in Vera
© Stuart Wood/ITV
David Leon returned for series 13

"I wouldn't have continued if David had not agreed to come back," said the Atonement actress. "I just didn't want to start another board game with somebody else when I know I'm not going to do many more. And who would want to do it anyway?"

Back in 2023, she opened up about the toll of filming the show and spending half of the year away from home. "When we finish filming, I always say, 'I really don't think I can do this anymore," Brenda told The Mirror

"Filming usually means six months away from home – and in 2022 it was the best part of ten months. But then I have a rest, get my appetite back and change my mind," she admitted. 

The news comes over a year after Kenny Doughty quit the show. Sharing the news in March 2023, Kenny, who played DS Aiden Healy for eight years, said in a statement: "After 8 years & 35 Vera films I've made the difficult decision of handing over DS Healy's badge. I can confirm I am leaving Vera."

Kenny Doughty as DS Aiden Healy and Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope in Vera Christmas special © Stuart Wood/ITV
Kenny Doughty left the show in March last year

He went on to thank the show's cast and crew, including Brenda, whom he referred to as "the perfect leading star who I owe so much to". "I feel lucky to have you as a friend, you make me howl with laughter & have been a rock for me over the years. I can’t thank you enough. Precious times," he said. 

The actor concluded: "And finally the Vera fans: without you and your support I would never have made so many films. You really are the best fans in the world. Thank you so much for your loyalty & love for the show."

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