There’s good news and bad news about ITV’s hit mystery drama, Vera. Filming has begun on the fifth series (hooray!), and actor David Leon has left the show (say it ain’t so!).

Brenda Blethyn Vera
Vera – © ITV


Yes, pet. Film crews have descended on the Northeast of England for Series 5 of Vera, with multiple award winner Brenda Blethyn (Little Voice, Secrets & Lies) reprising her role as one of Northumberland’s finest, DCI Vera Stanhope.

Returning to join Blethyn are Jon Morrison (High Times) as DC Kenny Lockhart, Cush Jumbo (Torchwood: Children of Earth) as DC Bethany Whelan, Kingsley Ben-Adir (Agatha Christie’s Marple) as pathologist Dr. Marcus Summer, and Riley Jones (Wolfblood) as DC Mark Edwards.

But no, love. David Leon (RocknRolla) is not returning to the series as DS Joe Ashworth.

David Leon Twitter
Via David Leon Twitter

In his stead is Kenny Doughty (Stella, Coronation Street) as DS Aiden Healy, a newcomer to DCI Stanhope’s team and her caustic wit.

“I’m really thrilled to be joining Vera,” said Doughty. “It’s such a fantastic show and I’m especially excited to be working alongside the lovely and brilliant Brenda Blethyn.”

Prior to filming, Blethyn said, “I am so happy to be embarking on series 5 of Vera and whilst I’ll miss David Leon (Joe Ashworth finally got his long awaited promotion – Celine was delighted!), I’m very glad to be reunited with Jon Morrison, Riley Jones, Cush Jumbo and our new member of the team Kenny Doughty.”

Series 5 will have four new episodes based on the characters created by acclaimed crime novelist Ann Cleeves. The first episode, written by Martha Hillier (who scripted two of the Series 4 episodes), follows Vera and Aiden’s investigation of a mysterious death at a caravan park.

Filming is scheduled to run through this autumn, and screening is slated for 2015.

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Vera: Series 5 in Production Without David Leon
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