Vera creator reveals what she really thinks of Brenda Blethyn portrayal

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Vera has been delighting fans for ten series and ahead of the 11th which is set to air next year on ITV, the creator of the crime-drama series has spoken out about the lead actress. The show, which is based on Ann Cleeves books, sees Vera Stanhope played by Brenda Blethyn. And after 21 years and nine novels, Ann has revealed the detective can still surprise her. 

The character of Vera has been developing and maturing since Ann first put pen to paper and created her. 

Ann spoke about how she has gradually peeled away the layers of the detective saying she “knew things about” Vera “like you might with a friend”. 

I had this sense of Vera being troubled as a girl, her mum dying, and her dad being incapable of being a proper parent and coming from a big house,” the author added. 

But when Brenda was cast to play the now-iconic role, was the character changed in any way? 

“Seeing Brenda play her has added even more depth,” Ann said. 

“I hear her more than see her. 

“She does that really interesting witty put-down, which was always in the books but not so evident. 

“So that has fed into the writing,” Ann remarked. 

“I love the fact Brenda hasn’t softened her. There’s not an inch of self-pity or sentimentality there. 

“It would have been easy for TV to make it saccharine,” she told Radio Times. 

Series ten aired this January and an 11th instalment was announced by Brenda herself. 

We’re going to start working this year and you’ll see it next year,” she revealed. 

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Executive producer Phil Hunter added to Deadline: “Yes, there’ll be more Vera beyond series 10, which is fantastic news.”

While ITV has not yet announced a release date for series 11, the good news is the first episode has been written, with the cast and crew “ready to go”, Brenda told This Morning back in March. 

But that was before coronavirus and lockdown. 

Therefore, fans may have to wait a few more months before they get to see Vera back in Northumberland  in her trusty mac and fishing hat. 

As for what’s in store, the series will probably cover four new investigations and hopefully prove a bigger success than series ten which raked in an average of 7.5 million viewers for ITV. 

I’m thrilled at how much the Vera fans enjoy watching year on year,” Phil previously said. 

“I’m continually overwhelmed by the commitment from our amazing writers, our outstanding crew and fabulous cast; the dedication, passion and craft that goes into each and every episode is what makes the show so great. 

“We can’t wait to begin filming on Series 11!” Chronicle Live reported. 

Vera is on ITV tonight. 

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