The hat, mac and rattling Land Rover can all only mean one thing: Brenda Blethyn’s DCI Vera Stanhope is back for another series of ITV’s beloved long-running crime drama, Vera.
Adapted from the crime author Ann Cleeves’ novels, the four new episodes will be set, as ever, against the picturesque Northumbrian landscape, starring the unconventional detective and her loyal team alongside some guest appearances…
Brenda Blethyn plays DCI Vera Stanhope
Who is Vera? DCI Vera Stanhope is a talented, compassionate and unconventional detective who heads up a team at Northumberland and City Police. She’s prickly, blunt, almost always wears her distinctive hat, and doggedly pursues the truth of each case – even if it lands her in hot water. As the series have progressed we’ve learnt more about her backstory, including her difficult relationship with her father.
Where have I seen Brenda Blethyn before? You might recognise two-time Oscar nominee as Mrs Bennett in the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice, or from her roles in Atonement, Secrets & Lies, Little Voice, and the Clémence Poésy version of War and Peace.
Kenny Doughty plays DS Aiden Healy
Who is DS Aiden Healy? Vera’s right-hand man, DS Aiden Healy has proven himself to be a fiercely loyal and hard working partner-in-solving-crime. He’s a family man with a young boy, and when it comes to cases about fathers and sons or children he sometimes struggles to keep his emotions in check.
Where have I seen Kenny Doughty before? Doughty previously played Jake Harman in Coronation Street and Sean in Stella. He’s also more recently starred in Kay Mellor’s BBC1 drama Love, Lies and Records, and in an episode of Black Work (playing Ryan Gillespie).
Jon Morrison plays DC Kenny Lockhart
Who is DC Kenny Lockhart? A loyal detective with decades of experience under his belt, and the cynical sense of humour to prove it.
Where have I seen Jon Morrison before? The Scottish actor has previously starred in The Bill, Monarch of the Glen, High Times, Dream Team, and Who Dares Wins.
Paul Kaye plays Dr Malcolm Donahue
Who is Dr Malcolm Donahue? A pedantic pathologist who joined the team last season, Dr Malcolm previously worked with Vera and they failed to get on, but the pair are finally establishing a grudging respect for one another.
Where have I seen Paul Kaye before? While Game of Thrones fans will recognise Kaye as the character Thoros of Myr, the prolific actor’s more recent onscreen appearances include Catherine the Great as Pugachev; Year of the Rabbit as the unpleasant D.I. Tanner; Ricky Gervais’ series Afterlife as the Psychiatrist; and Cold Feet as Reverend Daniel Booth. He originally rose to fame via his comic alter-ego Dennis Pennis.
Ibibnabo Jack plays DC Jacqueline ‘Jac’ Williams
Who is DC Jacqueline ‘Jac’ Williams? A young and talented detective with a wry sense of humour and a knack at finding key witnesses and crucial information.
Where have I seen Ibibnabo Jack before? Jack played Theresa Sutton in Doctors last year, and has previously starred in the film Two for Joy.
Riley Jones plays PC Mark Edwards
Who is PC Mark Edwards? The youngest member of Vera’s team, Jones has proved himself to be hard working and eager to prove himself.
Where have I seen Riley Jones before? He played Ewan in EastEnders last year; his other credits include the short film Run and the TV series Wolfblood.
Episode 3 guest stars
Emily Stott plays Georgia Hay
Who is Georgia Hay? An old friend and neighbour of Luke Sumner, who has died following an assault. Her sister went to school with Luke.
Where have I seen Emily Stott before? The up-and-coming actress is still starting out in her career, but has appeared in shorts and onstage in A Comedy about a Bank Robbery.
Jacqueline Boatswain plays Sarah Ashers
Who is Sarah Ashers? The mother of Jasmine, who used to date Luke when they were teenagers.
Where have I seen Jacqueline Boatswain before? The actress recently starred in Hollyoaks as Simone Loveday, and plays Frances Holland in this year’s Bancroft series. She’s previously starred in Grange Hill and Shameless.
Leah Walker plays Jasmine Ashers
Who is Jasmine Ashers? An ex-girlfriend of the deceased, Luke.
Where have I sen Leah Walker before? Walker has appeared in Safe, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, The Dumping Ground, The Royals, and In The Dark.
Dempsey Bovell as Jojo Walters
Who is Jojo Walters? A mini-bus driver who works for the same cleaning company that Luke did.
Where have I seen Dempsey Bovell before? Bovell played a drug dealer in Patrick Melrose alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, and has previously had cameos in Solo: A Star Wars Story and Rocketman.
Episode 2 guest stars
Martha Cope plays Steph Bayliss
Who is Steph Bayliss? The mother of a young man, Dennis, who is found washed up on a beach. She reveals that her son had recently tracked down his birth father.
Where have I seen Martha Cope before? The TV actress has appeared in various shows, including Doctors, Men Behaving Badly, Peak Practice and Family Affairs.
Stuart Laing plays Rob Bayliss
Who is Rob Bayliss? The man who raised Dennis, Rob is married to Steph.
Where have I seen Stuart Laing before? Laing is perhaps best known for playing Rob Minter in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. He’s also starred in various shows including 3 Steps to Heaven and Strike Force.
Episode 1 guest stars
Ajay Chhabra plays Nasir Ali
Who is Nasir Ali? A car salesman and father of two whose absent business partner, Freddy Gill, is found mysteriously murdered.
Where have I seen Ajay Chhabra before? Younger viewers might recognise Chhabra as Anil from The Basil Brush Show; he’s also played Defense Barrister George Karnad in Holby City and Suresh Mattai in the BBC Radio series The Archers.
Viraj Juneja plays Saddiq Ali
Who is Saddiq Ali? Nasir’s youngest son, Saddiq is a university student and is coddled by both his father and older brother.
Where have I seen Viraj Juneja before? The actor has previously starred in Doctors, Boyz in the Wood and The Stand Up Sketch Show.
Mariam McLoughlin plays Tina Tripp
Who is Tina Tripp? A proud matriarch and pub owner whose husband has just died; her grandson’s father, Freddy Gill, has also just been murdered, but Tina doesn’t spare any tears for him.
Where have I seen Mariam McLoughlin before? The actress has previously starred in Party Animals, Holby City, Truckers, and The Bill.
Additional cast for episode one:
- Ay Saighal as Agrah Ali, Saddiq’s older brother
- Josh Barrow as Riley Gill, teenage son of murder victim Freddy Gill
- Barry Aird as Darren Tripp, brother-in-law to widow Tine Tripp
- Charlotte Pyke as Jade Gill, the ex of murder victim Freddy Gill
- Jonathan Spencer as murder victim Freddy Gill
- Brian Lonsdale as Jade’s volatile brother, Lee Tripp