ITV Vera's Brenda Blethyn was forced to halt series 13 filming after medical emergency on set: 'Did worry me'

ITV Vera's Brenda Blethyn was forced to halt series 13 filming after medical emergency on set: 'Did worry me'

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Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 09/01/2024

- 11:11

Updated: 16/01/2024

- 15:55

The 77-year-old has reprised the role of DCI Stanhope for a 13th run

Brenda Blethyn has candidly opened up about a rather harrowing experience on the set of the latest series of Vera ahead of its premiere on ITV this past weekend.

Blethyn returned to film three feature-length specials for the new series without Vera's long-time ally Aiden Healy (played by Kenny Doughty) by her side - although the premiere led several fans to beg for his return already.

This time around, DCI Stanhope has reunited with Joe Ashworth (David Leon) - although Sunday's premiere proved their reunion is far from a pleasant affair.

While the opening episode and the rest of series 13 will undoubtedly deliver on the tension between Vera and Joe as well as grisly goings-on in the latest cases on her desk, actor Blethyn had to deal with a drama of her own while filming.

Along with the rest of the crew in North-West, Blethyn spotted one onlooker who'd arrived on the set of the third instalment of series 13 was feeling rather under the weather.

"We filmed that [Episode Three] on the seafront at Redcar and it features two fish and chip shops," Blethyn began. "Vera is very partial to fish and chips. Lovely. I also like fish and chips.

David Leon (left)

David Leon (left) is back as Joe Ashworth in series 13 of Vera alongside Brenda Blethyn's DCI Stanhope


"It was a very hot day when we were filming on the seafront there and an 81-year-old lady who was among the fans watching us fainted. We saw a bit of commotion in the crowd and our crew medics went over."

Trying to allay Blethyn's concern, the actor revealed: "When they came back I said, ‘What’s up?’ They said, ‘A lady has passed out in the heat.’ I said, ‘Is she alright?' They said, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, she’s fine. She’s sitting down now but she wants to stay and watch the filming.’

"And so we carried on and then I saw the medic go over there again. I said, ‘Are you sure that lady is alright?’ They said, ‘Yes, stop worrying about it.’

"Then I saw them go back again and it did worry me," Blethyn confessed before she decided to halt that day's filming.

Blethyn told ITV: "I said, ‘Sorry. I’m going to have to stop filming. I want to go and make sure that lady is alright.’ So I went over and I chatted to her for a few minutes.

"She was going, ‘Ohhh… it’s Vera!’ And she was alright. Well blow me down, when I got home it was on the TV news that night! They had gone to the lady’s house and interviewed her. She was so sweet and excited!

"So many people come to watch the Vera filming. The fans are just so generous.

"A lady turned up from Australia and gave me a cloth kangaroo. I was also given a crochet replica of Vera, about a foot tall. It’s marvellous. It has pride of place on my mantlepiece."

Brenda Blethyn

Brenda Blethyn has played Vera Stanhope for 13 series now


Luckily the Vera fan managed to recover and Blethyn and co were able to get back in front of the camera to deliver the latest series.

However, a new series very nearly didn't come to fruition after Blethyn admitted she wanted to pack in the role following Doughty's departure.

In fact, Blethyn admitted it was only because Leon had agreed to return that she decided to stay on-board for the latest run.

The future of Vera remains uncertain for now, however, although Leon has made his feelings clear on what he wants to see in the ITV drama's future.

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