Vera confirms series 13 with returning character

brenda blethyn, vera
Vera returning with thirteenth seriesITV

Vera is set to return for a thirteenth series with a big returning character in tow.

Actor and director David Leon will return to the crime drama in the role of Joe Ashworth after leaving in 2014 to pursue other work commitments.

Brenda Blethyn will return for the latest installment as DCI Vera Stanhope, for which she received the Rose d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021.

Other returning cast members include Jon Morrison, who plays DC Kenny Lockhart, and Riley Jones, who plays DC Mark Edward.

brenda blethyn kenny doughty and jon morrison, vera

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Further castings and information about the new series will be announced when filming commences in the summer, according to ITV.

It comes after Kenny Doughty, who played DS Aidan Healey since 2015, announced he would be departing from the drama earlier this month.

Before announcing his departure from the show, Doughty had posted a series of photos on Instagram from is time on the show, captioning it: "Thank you for the memories."

Ibinabo Jack, who has played DC Jacqueline ‘Jac’ Williams since 2018, will also not be returning for the thirteenth series due to her theatre commitments.

brenda blethyn, vera

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'The Rising Tide', a feature-length episode based on the eleventh Vera novel written by Ann Cleeves, will be Doughty and Jack’s final appearance in the series. ITV has confirmed it will be released later this year.

Blethyn spoke candidly about working with the pair and saying she will miss them on the show.

"It's been such a pleasure to work alongside Kenny and Ibinabo. They've both been terrific members of the Vera team, and I'll miss them. I'm absolutely over the moon to welcome David back to the show and can’t wait to get started," she said.

Made by Silverprint Pictures, part of ITV Studios, the thirteenth series will be Executive produced by Will Nicholson and Kate Bartlett.

Vera series 1 to 12 are available to stream on ITVX.

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