Vera star films own stunts in North East series set to hit screens

The new series of Vera will begin this weekend. Image by ITV.
The new series of Vera will begin this weekend. Image by ITV.

Brenda Blethyn has revealed she did not use a stunt double in scenes in Vera which saw her teetering on the edge of a tall building.

The 71-year-old actress - who plays frumpy but loveable Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in the hit ITV crime drama - said she does not have a fear of heights so was able to shoot the scene in the upcoming seventh series of the show herself.

A shot taken as a previous series of Vera is filmed in the North East.

A shot taken as a previous series of Vera is filmed in the North East.

The programme is set in the North East and films on location across the region.

The series is based on the bestselling Inspector Stanhope books by award-winning writer Ann Cleeves,

Vera and her team are drawn into four more compelling mysteries in this series, including the death of a wildlife ranger, left alone overnight on a remote and inaccessible island.

She said: "That really was me. It was the fifth floor or possibly higher.

Brenda Blenthyn, who stars as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in ITV's Vera.

Brenda Blenthyn, who stars as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in ITV's Vera.

"Every safety precaution was observed and if someone was required to approach the edge their ankles were tethered and at the other end of the rope was a stunt man ready to leap into action should the unthinkable happen.

"Good job as it was a sheer drop!"

"Fortunately I'm perfectly all right with heights.

"In fact I didn't want the chain on," she added.

The seventh series will see Vera and her team drawn into four more compelling mysteries, including the death of a wildlife ranger, left alone overnight on a remote island.

An eighth series is due to go into production later this year.

Blethyn said she is proud of the fact the show is an "unshowy look at policing in the North East".

"Vera herself is a flawed character," she said.

"She's very clever, dishevelled and not prone to vanity.

"That's what I like about it.

"It's not reliant on lipstick or the catwalk."

In the first episode Det Chief Insp Stanhope is drawn into a suspicious death on Ternstone, a remote and inaccessible island off the coast of Northumberland, home only to numerous species of birds and the rangers who observe them.

Vera returns to ITV on Sunday at 8pm.