Is Vera ending and why is Brenda Blethyn leaving the show after series 14?

Wondering if Vera is ending? You're probably not alone as ITV confirm Brenda Blethyn is leaving as DCI Vera Stanhope after 14 years

Brenda Blethyn as Vera Stanhope in ITV's Vera
(Image credit: BritBox/ITV)

The prospect of ITV’s Vera ending is something fans won’t have wanted to seriously consider but now Brenda Blethyn is leaving.

Based on the best-selling Vera book series by Ann Cleeves, ITV’s Vera series has taken the world by storm since it started in 2011 and it couldn’t ask for a better titular character than DCI Vera Stanhope. Played masterfully by Brenda Blethyn OBE, she’s earned her place in the ranks of famous TV detectives with her stellar crime solving rate, beloved old land rover and iconic trench coat and hat. 

Over the years her team has evolved but with her at the helm of the ship, Vera has kept things steady as they got to the bottom of ever more difficult cases. Now, three months after Vera season 13 ended, it’s been announced that Brenda Blethyn is leaving as DCI Stanhope and many of us might be wondering about where that leaves the show and if Vera is ending after series 14.


(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

Is Vera ending?

Sadly, Vera is ending after over a decade of delivering expertly-plotted storylines and stand-out cast performances. The beloved drama will end after series 14 because lead star Brenda Blethyn has decided to leave Vera as DCI Vera Stanhope and it was confirmed by ITV on 22nd April that this was the case. It might give long-time fans some small sense of comfort to know that it was Brenda’s decision to hang up her Vera trench coat for once and for all, rather than Vera being cancelled by ITV. 

The acclaimed star has now returned to film another season of Vera - series 14 - which will consist of two episodes and will be the final instalment of the hit crime drama.

JON MORRISON as DS Kenny Lockhart, BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope and RHIANNON CLEMENTS as Steph

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

Why is Brenda Blethyn leaving Vera?

Vera just wouldn’t have been Vera without Brenda Blethyn in the lead role and playing the no-nonsense detective has been a huge part of the actor’s life for so long, that it seems as though she simply felt it was time to walk away. Speaking to ITV about her decision to leave Vera, Brenda expressed her pride at all the show had achieved and revealed that she would sincerely miss her colleagues, with no suggestion of any drama.

“Working on Vera has been a joy from beginning to end and I’m sad to be saying Cheerio. But I am so proud of our achievements over the last fourteen years. I’ll be forever grateful to the wonderful Ann Cleeves who created Vera, and to Elaine Collins who saw fit to cast me in the role,” she declared.

BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope and DAVID LEON as DI Joe Ashworth

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

Brenda continued, “The Producers, dream cast and crew have been fabulous and I’m going to miss them, but I won’t forget their huge talent, the camaraderie, laughter or kindness we shared nor the friendship of the people of the north east and our fans worldwide. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Silverprint Pictures Creative Director Kate Bartlett, who has executive produced many of the Vera series since it started in 2011 described Vera ending as the “end of an era”. She spoke of the “extraordinary journey” they’d had over the 14 years they’ve been making the show and said that none of them would be there without Brenda.


(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

“She is brilliant as DCI Vera Stanhope, a truly iconic character of our times,” she said, adding that they also wouldn’t have been able to create Vera without “the amazing Ann Cleeves, author of the original novels and creator of DCI Vera Stanhope”. 

“We will all be very sad to say goodbye to Brenda and everyone involved in making the show,” Kate continued.

Brenda had previously hinted that she was considering bowing out of Vera as the titular character at some point. She suggested ahead of the official renewal of the show for series 14 that the ITV drama could return for a “winding up” of Vera but wasn’t sure about a “whole series”.

DAVID LEON as DI Joe Ashworth, RHIANNON CLEMENTS as Steph, BRENDA BLETHYN as DCI Vera Stanhope, RILEY JONES as DC Mark Edwards and JON MORRISON as DS Kenny Lockhart.

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

Meanwhile, Brenda confessed before Vera season 13 started that she’d almost not returned to film the most recent series after Kenny Doughty left Vera as Aiden Healy. According to she declared, “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.”

David Leon left Vera as DI Joe Ashworth, then a DS, in series 4 and Brenda explained that she “wouldn’t have continued if David had not agreed to come back”.

“I just didn’t want to start another board game with somebody else when I know I’m not going to do many more. And who would want to do it anyway?” she said.

Brenda Blethyn as Vera and David Leon as Joe

(Image credit: ITV STUDIOS FOR ITV1)

These remarks might have led many of us to prepare ourselves for the possibility that Vera season 14 might be the show’s final outing. Now with her decision to leave as Vera Stanhope, this is a reality and fans will likely already be considering when they will have to bid the detective and her team a fond farewell.

When will Vera series 14 air? 

Vera series 14 has now started filming, according to ITV’s recent announcement about the future of the show, so whilst a release date isn’t confirmed we can make a guess at when it might premiere. Typically new seasons of Vera air in the UK in January so if Vera series 14 follows this pattern then fans could expect to see it on ITV in early 2025. Of course, Vera series 14 is also shorter with only two episodes which could potentially mean that the turnaround from filming to airing could potentially be shorter. However, we wouldn’t expect to see Vera series 14 air before 2025. 

Vera seasons 1-13 are all available to watch via ITVX.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!