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ITV Vera’s Joe Ashworth star makes feelings clear on series future amid fears Brenda Blethyn will quit


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Returning Vera star David Leon has addressed his hopes for the future of the ITV drama ahead of his hotly-anticipated return as Joe Ashworth.

Leon starred in the first four seasons of the hit ITV drama before Kenny Doughty’s Aiden Healy stepped into the fray.

After Doughty decided to leave the show after eight years in 2023, Vera leading star Brenda Blethyn admitted she wanted to pack the show in for good.

However, Leon’s return as the former series stalwart convinced her to stay on-board for a 13th series.

“After we filmed The Rising Tide at the end of 2022 I didn’t want to do anymore without Kenny Doughty, who had decided to leave. But I said, ‘I’ll think about it if you can see if David Leon is available to return as Joe Ashworth.’ And so they did and here I am,” Blethyn admitted to ITV.

The 13th series will consist of three feature-length specials as Blethyn’s Vera and Leon’s Ashworth reunite after a decade apart with new crimes presenting themselves to the iconic DCI – but what about beyond?

Brenda Blethyn

Brenda Blethyn wanted to leave when Kenny Doughty (right) quit the show


Addressing the show’s future now he’s back, Leon said: “Vera will continue for as long as the demand for it remains and Brenda feels like she can continue to surprise herself and be challenged by it.

“She puts so much into it and it is an exhausting shoot. In the past usually filming four feature films back to back.

“The fans who come to watch filming are always amazed at the level of detail, craftsmanship and time each scene requires. It’s a real challenge to make three or four feature-length films back to back.

“It requires a level of energy and dedication that means you are just living in that bubble for several months. Your life gets put on hold. That’s what it demands.

“I think one of the reasons Vera has endured is you have these films that usually drop at the beginning of the year and you are left as an audience wanting more. We’ll just have to wait and see if there will be.”

Blethyn similarly addressed the future of Vera beyond series 13 following her confession that she wanted to leave.

“At the moment there is nothing planned,” she told ITV. “But that’s not to say they’re not talking about it. There might be a winding up. I don’t know.

“Ann Cleeves is also writing her 11th Vera book. So, there’s also that to consider. But a whole series? I think not. We’ll see.”

Brenda Blethyn returns

Brenda Blethyn returns in series 13 of Vera


Vera’s series 13 opener, Fast Love, sees Blethyn’s character arrive at the scene of a car accident that has left one young man dead.

However, as Vera begins to delve into who the man was, she discovers more and more complexities about his past.

The happy-go-lucky picture the victim had created turns out to be a façade for a scheming and arrogant reality – but did someone with knowledge of his darker side play a part in his death?

Fans will have to tune in to find out as well as see Leon’s Joe Ashworth reunite with the show’s leading light.

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Written by: radioroxi

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