Vera’s Brenda Blethyn pays tribute to ‘mate’ after heartbreaking final scenes

Eagle-eyed viewers spot Brenda Blethyn’s dog in the background

Vera star Brenda Blethyn has paid a moving tribute to her “mate” and co-star Kenny Doughty after the pair filmed their final scenes together in the Christmas special. The ITV episode titled The Rising Tide will hit screens on Boxing Day and will see Vera and the team solving another mysterious murder.

However, the instalment will be the last time fans will see DCI Stanhope and her sidekick Aiden Healy together as the actor who plays him announced his exit earlier this year. Brenda and Kenny have worked alongside each other for nine years, so it will be an emotional moment for both of them as they say goodbye to one another.

Speaking ahead of the festive episode about Kenny’s departure, Brenda said: “I was sad when he said he was leaving. He’s my mate. We filmed eight series together, I’ve never laughed so hard as I did with Kenny Doughty.

“Vera and Aiden became very close over the years, it’s not surprising because she spent most of her time with him at work, and it was a good working relationship between the two characters as well as liking each other.

“Kenny and I kept each other company between scenes during long days, weeks, and months of filming, as well as at weekends because we were both working away from home. It’s total commitment.”

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She added: “Kenny was also my neighbour in the apartments where I stay during filming. I’ll miss him and wish him well.”

Kenny announced in March that he had made the decision to leave Vera, admitting it was a very “difficult” choice to make.

Speaking further about why he wanted to move on from the ITV series, he explained: “I made the decision before we started filming series 12. That was initially going to be the four films screened at the start of 2023.

“But then halfway through filming they said, ‘Can we do a Christmas special as well?’ So it was a long goodbye, with The Rising Tide being my last episode filmed in November and December 2022.

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“There were lots of personal and professional reasons why I wanted to move on. I have loved doing Vera 100 per cent, it has been a life-changing job for so many reasons.

“Including working with Brenda Blethyn and in the North East, I feel like an honorary Geordie. There is also a real family connection to the crew who I’m still in touch with.

“It has been nine years since I filmed my first episode in 2014, which was screened in 2015. I just wanted to leave while I was still happy with everything.”

“It was a really difficult decision to leave,” the actor said before adding: “Because I loved doing that job and I loved working with everybody on the Vera team. But a little part of me, for whatever reason, the little inner self, said to me, ‘You should probably call it a day while you’re still enjoying it.’

Vera: The Rising Tide will return to ITV on Boxing Day at 9pm.

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