Vera star ‘uncertain’ whether filming for new Brenda Blethyn series would go ahead

Vera discusses murder case with DC Mark Edwards

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Earlier this year, production for the ITV series was put on hold due to the pandemic. The cast and crew were forced to take a break for a few months before they could resume filming for series 11 of Vera. However, because of the hold-up, this meant fans were only able to watch the first two episodes of the current series. The final four episodes of series 11 are expected to air early next year.

The first two episodes of the ITV drama saw DCI Vera Stanhope (played by Brenda Blethyn) and her sidekick Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty) back to solve another murder.

PC Mark Edwards (Riley Jones) also made a return to help the duo behind the scenes.

However, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, the actor who plays Mark explained that he was unsure whether filming would resume for the drama due to the COVID-19.

Speaking about his return to filming, Riley began: “It was just amazing to be back. I think when we shut down in March/April time you know we didn’t know what was going on.”

The actor continued: “We didn’t know when we’d be back. If we’d be back this year. Are we just going to have to move to next year? 

“So, the first thing was just like the uncertainty of if we’re going to get filmed again.”

The actor who plays PC Edwards made his first appearance on the show in series one.

He went on to explain that despite being able to carry on with production, things were very different on set.

Praising the crew who work behind the scenes, Riley said: “The fact that we were able to film throughout and how I know a lot of other productions did have to temporarily shut down, so it was a testament to the production team really.

“And also, how much the show means to everybody.”

The 33-year-old said the cast and crew all took coronavirus protocols “very seriously” despite it making it difficult to film.

“It was a lot more difficult,” Riley explained. “Even not being on set was much harder because you were away from home for a lot longer.”

He added: “And you were just in a hotel for first of all three days doing nothing and then for however long you’re filming for and then you’d come back to the hotel. 

“So yeah, that was a lot harder.”

Riley went on to discuss how he landed a permanent role on the show and what it was like shooting his first scene with leading lady Brenda.

“I was very lucky,” the actor admitted. “I think it was a combination of being in the right place at the right time and just working hard and being productive.”

He concluded: “I had that one scene and I think it was filmed at about one o’clock or two o’clock in the morning.

“We finished filming the scene and I had finished and production said, ‘Great we’ll get you home’.

“It was freezing cold. It was like February or March time, and I just said, ‘Do you mind if I hang around and just watch?’.

“They were doing the scene where the little boy is dragged out of the river, and they had this dummy to look like the boy and it was just all really interesting.”

Vera is expected to air early next year on ITV.

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