Vera's Brenda Blethyn breaks silence over exit with heartfelt message and series 14 update

Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope
Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope (Stuart Wood)

Brenda Blethyn has shared a heartfelt message to fans in her first social media post since announcing her departure from ITV's Vera.

The popular detective drama is coming to an end after 13 years and is set to conclude with its 14th season.

Taking to X on Wednesday, the 78-year-old actress, who stars as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, revealed that she'll begin filming scenes for the final season next week and admitted that it's going to be "hard" saying goodbye to the show.

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"Many thanks to everyone for your good wishes," penned the Pride & Prejudice star. "So very much appreciated. Getting ready to start filming Series 14 of Vera next week. gonna be hard saying farewell."

Brenda's message comes just days after she shared the news of her departure. In a statement, she told fans: "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.

Brenda Blethyn in Vera
Brenda Blethyn announced her departure from the show after 13 years (ITV)

"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," added the actress.

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Vera has played the titular role in the drama since it first premiered back in 2011. She starred opposite David Leon, who played DS Joe Ashworth, from seasons one to four before Kenny Doughty took over as Vera's sidekick DS Aiden Healy.

Kenny Doughty as DS Aiden Healy and Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope in Vera Christmas special
Kenny Doughty played DS Aiden Healy from season 5 to season 12 (Stuart Wood/ITV)

Kenny announced his exit from the show in March 2023, explaining his "difficult decision" to step down from his role after eight years. Praising Brenda as the "perfect leading star", he added: "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."

Following Kenny's departure, David reprised his role as DI Joe Ashworth for series 13. Ahead of the season premiere, Brenda revealed that she wouldn't have agreed to another series had David not returned. "I wouldn't have continued if David had not agreed to come back," she said. "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?"

DAVID LEON as DI Joe Ashworth and BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope in Vera
David Leon reprised his role for series 13 (Stuart Wood/ITV)

The final season will consist of two 120-minute episodes, with filming taking place in Northumberland and North East England. A release date has yet to be announced.