A second star of ITV’s Sunday night drama Vera has quit the show, as bosses announced it will return for a thirteenth series.
Following Kenny Doughty’s announcement that he would be leaving the show, actress Ibinabo Jack, who has played DC Jacqueline ‘Jac’ Williams since 2018, has confirmed she will not return for series 13 due to her theatre commitments.
Star Brenda Blethyn is set to once again reprise her role as the no-nonsense detective DCI Vera Stanhope, while actor and director David Leon makes a welcome return as Joe Ashworth.
Inspired by the award-winning author Ann Cleeves, VERA has become a much-loved and acclaimed series, with its compelling storylines and captivating performances.
Over the years, the drama has consistently pulled in impressive viewing figures, with an average six million viewers tuning in for the last series, including viewing across all devices.
Return: A second star of ITV’s Sunday night drama Vera has quit the show, as bosses announced it will return for a thirteenth series
In 2021 Brenda Blethyn received the Rose d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award for her starring role as Vera, ITV’s longest-running female detective, and her many other defining roles throughout her career.
Brenda is also the recipient of several accolades including two Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress.
Cast returning alongside Brenda and David for three new feature length films include Jon Morrison, who plays DC Kenny Lockhart and Riley Jones, who plays DC Mark Edwards.
Further castings and information about the new series will be announced when filming commences in the summer.
Following news of Kenny and Ibinabo’s exits, the The Rising Tide, a feature-length episode based on the eleventh Vera novel written by Ann Cleeves, will be their final appearance in the series, and will air later this year.
Brenda Blethyn said: ‘It’s been such a pleasure to work alongside Kenny and Ibinabo. They’ve both been terrific members of the Vera team, and I’ll miss them.
‘I’m absolutely over the moon to welcome David back to the show and can’t wait to get started.’
Last week, Kenny announced that he would be leaving the cast of Vera after eight years as DS Aiden Healy.
Won’t be back: Ibinabo Jack, who has played DC Jacqueline ‘Jac’ Williams since 2018 (far left), has confirmed she will not return for series 13 due to her theatre commitments
He wrote: ‘After 8 years & 35 Vera films I’ve made the difficult decision of handing over DS Healy’s badge. I can confirm I am leaving Vera.
‘I want to thank everyone who’s made this amazing time so joyous, ITV, Silverprint, all the brilliant cast and crew BUT of course my buddy & inspiration Brenda Blethyn. The perfect leading star who I owe so much to.
‘I feel lucky to have you as a friend, you make me howl with laughter & have been a rock for me over the years. I can’t thank you enough. Precious times.
‘And finally the Vera fans: without you and your support I would never have made so many films. You really are the best fans in the world. Thank you so much for your loyalty & love for the show. X.’
It came after Kenny shared a selection of pictures of himself with his co-stars from the show a fortnight earlier, writing: ‘Thank you for the memories Xx.’
A host of fans took to the comments section to wish him luck with his next career steps.
Screenwriter and television producer Russell T Davies wrote: ‘Oh mate. Congratulations. You’ve been wonderful ❤️ Here’s to the future xx.
He’s off! Last week, Kenny Doughty announced that he would be leaving the cast of Vera after eight years as DS Aiden Healy (pictured with Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera)
Another follower wrote: ‘It’s not going to be the same ~ you and Vera have that perfect chemistry together. No Malcolm and now no you ! But Good Luck.’
Someone else posted: ‘Thank you for the amazing stories that you have been apart of on screen! ❤️ Vera has been my comfort TV show for a number of years now and your character has been a massive part of that. It’s been a joy watching yourself and Aiden Healy grow.
‘Can’t wait to see what your future roles Include! (The next episode will certainly be an emotional one).’
While another fan shared: ‘Awwww no!! awwww will miss you lots you and Vera are a right double act.