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Vera spin-off series: Everything we know amid Brenda Blethyn's departure

The popular ITV detective show is set to conclude with series 14

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
April 26, 2024
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Brenda Blethyn left Vera fans devastated this week when she announced her departure from the long-running detective drama. The 78-year-old actress will be hanging up DCI Vera Stanhope's iconic trench coat for good at the end of series 14. 

It's not all bad news, however, as rumours of a potential spin-off series have been swirling around the internet since the news broke. So, can fans look forward to the show's return? Here's all we know…

Could there be a Vera spin-off series?

Sadly, there have been no official announcements about a spin-off show. But this doesn't mean it won't happen. 

The suggestion of a Vera offshoot was first made by Ibinabo Jack during an interview on BBC Breakfast following the announcement of Brenda's exit. 

BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope© Stuart Wood
Brenda Blethyn is leaving the show after season 14

The actress, who played DC Jacqueline Williams from seasons eight to 12, shared her hopes for a prequel series whilst chatting to hosts Sally Nugent and Jon Kay on Tuesday. 

Speaking about Brenda's departure, Jon said: "Brenda has been on our screens for so long and part of television history. I suppose when Brenda steps down that surely means Vera has to end, doesn't it? You can't have Vera without Brenda."

Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope, David Leon as DI Joe Ashworth in Vera series 13 © Stuart Wood/ITV
Series 14 will be the last of the ITV drama

While Ibinabo agreed at first, saying "Brenda is Vera," she then suggested a spin-off show about the titular detective's younger years. "Unless they did a prequel? Like early days," said the actress. 

Ibinabo isn't the only one keen for the show to return in some form, with fans suggesting the recently returned David Leon could lead the cast as DI Joe Ashworth.

BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope and DAVID LEON as DI Joe Ashworth© Stuart Wood/ITV
Fans are hoping for a spin-off about DI Joe Ashworth

Taking to social media, one person penned: "They could always do a spin-off to Vera, Joe leading his own team for instance, including Kenny and Mark," while another wrote: "I think I manifested @David_J_Leon back into the show btw, so maybe I can manifest a spin-off… 'Ashworth'??"

What's more, the bookies are already backing a spin-off show, with Kenny Doughty, who plays DS Aiden Healy, the favourite to take over. 

But given the actor stepped down from his role on the show last year, we think this scenario is probably the least likely. 

What would a Vera spin-off look like? 

With David Leon making a comeback for series 13, a spin-off with him as the lead is probably the most likely option. 

When we caught up with DI Joe Ashworth in the latest season, he was working for the College of Policing and returned to Northumberland & City Police to oversee Vera and her team. 

David Leon as DS Joe Ashworth in Vera© ITV/REX/Shutterstock
Would you like to see a Joe Ashworth spin-off?

Perhaps a spin-off series could follow Joe and his work at the College of Policing? But if Vera decides to resign at the end of series 14, it could leave the door open for Joe to take over as DCI.

It looks like fans will just have to wait and see.

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