Brenda Blethyn has once again donned her hat and mac to play the eponymous DCI Vera Stanhope in ITV’s long-running crime drama Vera.
The four new feature-length episodes which make up series nine star some of our old favourites as Vera is joined by her talented team. The drama will also welcome a strong ensemble cast with some very familiar faces.
Here are all the characters you need to know, and where you’ve seen them before…
Brenda Blethyn plays DCI Vera Stanhope
Who is DCI Vera Stanhope? Heading up a team at Northumberland and City Police, the indefatigable Vera is dogged in her desire to uncover the truth at the heart of every case she faces. Unconventional and unglamorous (and always wearing that distinctive hat), Vera earns fierce loyalty and respect from her team. She has a wry sense of humour and is an extremely talented detective who truly cares about the victims of the crimes she investigates.
What else has Brenda Blethyn been in? The actress (now 72) has a Golden Globe, a Bafta and two Oscar nominations to her name. Across her long career, she has starred in TV shows and movies including Secrets & Lies, Little Voice, Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, and War and Peace.
Kenny Doughty plays DS Aiden Healy
Who is DS Aiden Healy? In his time with DCI Stanhope, Detective Sergeant Healy has proven himself a capable and reliable partner. She respects him for his insight, commitment and diligence, and he is always on hand to protect his boss and make sure she doesn’t compromise her own wellbeing. Aiden is a family man with a young son, but remains dedicated to the job.
What else has Kenny Doughty been in? Kenny joined Vera in 2015. You may also have seen him in the 2017 TV series Love, Lies and Records, or in an episode of Black Work playing Ryan Gillespie. Before taking on the role of DS Aiden Healy, he was Jake Harman in Coronation Street and Sean in Stella.
Jon Morrison plays DC Kenny Lockhart
Who is DC Kenny Lockhart? This member of Vera’s team has years of experience under his belt. He may work at his own pace, but he is a loyal and trusted detective and Vera knows she can rely on him when it counts.
What else has Jon Morrison been in? The actor has starred in Vera since 2011. Before he joined the ITV crime drama, he appeared in High Times, Dream Team, Monarch of the Glen, and Who Dares Wins.
Ibinabo Jack plays DC Jacqueline ‘Jac’ Williams
Who is DC Jacqueline ‘Jac’ Williams? Jac is admired for her sharp intelligence, no-nonsense attitude and dry wit. She is often able to uncover new and vital evidence.
What else has Ibinabo Jack been in? Ibinabo Jack is a relative newcomer to both Vera and TV. She joined the show in 2018, and her only previous screen credit is the film Two for Joy.
Paul Kaye plays Dr Malcolm Donahue
Who is Dr Malcolm Donahue? Vera is not exactly excited when she meets the new pathologist, because the two of them worked together years ago and it wasn’t a raving success. Dr Donahue is pedantic and dismissive, and treads heavily on Vera’s toes. Will the two be able to establish a working relationship?
What else has Paul Kaye been in? Game of Thrones fans will recognise him as the character Thoros of Myr. He is also known for playing shock jock Dennis Pennis on The Sunday Show. Recent TV appearances include Jim Duggan in Dark Heart, Howell in Zapped, Lawrence in Wanderlust, and Jim Winshaw in Three Girls.
Riley Jones plays DC Mark Edwards
Who is DC Mark Edwards? He may be the youngest member of Vera’s team, but Mark has proven himself with a key drive for detail and desire to find out the truth.
What else has Riley Jones been in? His other credits include the short film Run and the TV series Wolfblood.
Episode 4 guest stars
Daniel Ryan plays Alec Sidden
Who is Alec Sidden? Boss of Sidden Holdings, and son of the famous Leonard Sidden – a renowned businessman (and crook) who was untouchable in his heyday and has always managed to cover his tracks. Now Leonard is retired, Alec has taken over the company and is determined to make it a legitimate business.
What else has Daniel Ryan been in? Recent roles have included Phil Collins in the Lee Ingleby drama Innocent, Dan in Mount Pleasant, and Bryn Brindsley in Home Fires. He has also appeared in Doctor Who, playing Biff Kane in the 2008 episode Midnight.
Michael McKell plays Michael Claythorpe
Who is Michael Claythorpe? Leonard Sidden’s finance guy, and a member of his inner circle back in the nineties. He also happened to know Vera’s dad, Hector Stanhope.
What else has Michael McKell been in? He is perhaps best known as DC Nick Henshall from Emmerdale, but left in 2011 when his character died by suicide. Other roles include Dr Nick West in Doctors, Basil in Hatton Garden the Heist, and Joseph Mengele Senior in The Angel of Auschwitz.
Leon Stewart plays Scott Keane
Who is Scott Keane? Scott works for Alec Siddon, and is on the building site when the human remains are discovered. He is recently separated from his wife Patty Keane and their two children.
What else has Leon Stewart been in? The actor has made appearances in Endeavour, Victoria, and The Bill.
Kathleen Cranham plays Patty Keane
Who is Patty Keane? Scott Keane’s estranged wife. She was adopted as a child.
What else has Kathleen Cranham been in? The actress is a newcomer to our screens. Brenda Blethyn especially praised her performance, saying: “One of the highlights for me was working with Kathleen Cranham on the fourth episode, The Seagull. It was her first TV role and the performance she gave was great.”
Mark Wingett plays John Brace
Who is John Brace? An ex-detective currently in jail for perverting the course of justice. This corrupt cop was involved in some shady business with Leonard Sidden. He also worked with Vera’s late father Hector Stanhope.
What else has Mark Wingett been in? This is far from the first time Mark Wingett has played a police officer: he starred as DS Jim Carver in The Bill for more than 780 episodes. Since then he has appeared in the TV series Missing as Danny Hayworth, the movie Snow White and the Huntsman as Thomas, and Mr Turner as Mariner. He is also a stage actor and director.
Michael Feast plays Leonard Sidden
Who is Leonard Sidden? Vera is NOT a big fan of Leonard Sidden. Everyone knows he was a gangster in his heyday, but he handed out bribes and somehow was never brought to justice. Now he is retired and lives locally with his wife Elaine, while their son Alec tries to make his mark on the family business.
What else has Michael Feast been in? Pictured here in a production of Pygmalion at the Garrick Theatre in London, Michael Feast is an accomplished stage actor. He is also known for his TV roles including Aeron Greyjoy in Game of Thrones and Andrew Wilson in State of Play.
Claire Higgins plays Elaine Sidden
Who is Elaine Sidden? Leonard’s wife. She has spent a lifetime protecting him and is wary of Vera’s renewed interest in the Sidden family business.
What else has Claire Higgins been in? Her film credits include Hellraiser, Small Faces, Ready Player One, and The Golden Compass. On TV she currently stars in Sheridan Smith drama Cleaning Up and children’s show The Worst Witch, playing Miss Cackle, while previous roles have included Ohila in Doctor Who and Mrs Bartlett in Downton Abbey. She is also a three-time Olivier Award winner who can often be found on the West End or Broadway stage.
Josie Walker plays Mary-Frances Lascola
Who is Mary-Frances Lascola? We first encounter Mary-Frances as the young girl in the photograph taken at nightclub The Seagull.
What else has Josie Walker been in? She is an Olivier-nominated musicals star, with credits including Cats, The Beautiful Game, Evita, Matilda the Musical, and Everybody’s Talking about Jamie. On TV Josie Walker has appeared in Call the Midwife, Waterloo Road, and Holby City.
Additional guest stars for episode 4:
- Steve Evets plays PC George Wooten
- Delena Kidd plays Eleanor Marshburn
- Ian Reddington plays Glen Polson
- Angela Wynter plays Justine Brace
- Joanne Henry plays Alison Mackie
- Zita Sattar plays Laura Harper