After the show's first ever Christmas special aired on ITV1 on Boxing Day, fans can rest easy in the knowledge that Brenda Blethyn's beloved detective will be back in a 13th season of Vera.


Season 13 filmed between May and September 2023, and marks a big change for the series, as it sees the departure of Kenny Doughty's DS Aiden Healy and the return of David Leon's DS Joe Ashworth.

Leon explained his return to the show after nine seasons, saying: "It's fantastic to be back in the north east and reunited with Brenda and the crew for the new series. I'm looking forward to exploring the relationship between Joe and Vera as they make up for lost time."
Blethyn said she was "absolutely over the moon to welcome David back to the show", adding that she "can't wait to get started".
The Christmas special saw Vera head to the island of Lindisfarne to investigate what appeared to be a suicide, but was far from it in the end.

But what can fans expect from Vera in the future and when will season 13 be released? Read on to find out everything we know so far.

Will there be a Vera season 13?

David Leon and Brenda Blethyn star in Vera season 13
David Leon and Brenda Blethyn in Vera season 13. ITV

Yes, a 13th season has been confirmed.

More like this

The 76-year-old lead actress previously sparked concern when she discussed that it may be time to call it a day on the north east crime drama. She explained that after wrapping up each season of the show, she always says: “I really don’t think I can do this anymore.”

Blethyn lives in Kent and so filming in the north east of England for long periods of time is difficult. She has said before: “Filming usually means six months away from home – and in 2022 it was the best part of 10 months.”

When will Vera season 13 be released?

Thankfully, fans don't have to long to wait following the Christmas special until they get to see Vera back on their screens.

The first episode of Vera season 13 will start airing on ITV1 at 8pm on Sunday 7th January 2024.

Vera cast: Who will be back for season 13?

Brenda Blethyn in ITV's Vera, sitting in a car with a phone to her ear
Brenda Blethyn in ITV's Vera. ITV

Blethyn will return as our beloved titular character.

In an interview with ahead of the season 13 renewal, Blethyn confirmed she won't be hanging up her trench coat just yet. She said: "I haven't got any plans to leave – at the moment, all the time I'm fit and able, I'll be visiting Vera."

She continued, talking about the people of the north east where they film: "I love it, I just love it – I love the people up there, too. There is a difference between the friendliness of the north and the south, I don't care what anybody says. That's the main compliment really, that the people of the north east like Vera."

As detailed above, David Leon is rejoining the cast as DS Joe Ashworth almost a decade since he last appeared on the show.

As for the rest of the cast, some of the regular faces that we expect to see return are as follows:

  • Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope
  • David Leon as DS Joe Ashworth
  • Jon Morrison as DC Kenny Lockhart
  • Paul Kaye as Dr Malcolm Donahue
  • Riley Jones as DC Mark Edwards

What will happen in Vera season 13?

Brenda Blethyn as Vera Stanhope in Vera season 13 wearing a brown coat and hat, with a Jeep in the background
Brenda Blethyn as Vera Stanhope in Vera season 13. ITV

While we don't have full official plot details for the season yet, we do know what will happen in the first episode, which is called Fast Love.

The official synopsis for the episode says: "DCI Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn) is called to a quiet country lane where a young man has been found dead following a collision with a car. On closer inspection, it becomes clear that this is not an accident and is way more than a hit and run.

"Vera discovers that the victim is a popular market trader so heads down to his pitch to start to put together an idea of who our man is and ascertain why anyone would want him dead.

"As the investigation gathers pace, Vera learns that our cheeky chappy was a complex character. Antagonistic, arrogant and able to get what he wants, but did all of this come at a price? Secrets. Lies. Betrayal. Fractious relationships and intense rivalries but who would want our barrow boy buried."

The series is based on the books by Ann Cleeves, so we can expect the rest of the season 13 stories to also be based on cases from those novels.

Is there a trailer for Vera season 13?

Not yet! Watch this space and we'll share it here as soon as it's released.

Vera season 13 will start airing at 8pm on Sunday 7th January 2024. Previous episodes are available to watch on ITVX while seasons are also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free BritBox trial here.

You can also purchase instalments from any series on Amazon Prime Video. You can buy the first of Ann Cleeves's Vera novels here.

To find out what else is on, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide or visit our dedicated Drama hub.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.