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    Following the huge success of series eight, award winning actress, Brenda Blethyn dons her infamous mac and hat to play the unorthodox but brilliantly perceptive Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, in four chilling feature length episodes set against the backdrop of the North East.

    In the first new episode, entitled Blind Spot written by Paul Logue, Brenda is joined by a strong ensemble cast which includes Peter Davison (Toast of London, Doctor Who), James Atherton (Coronation Street, Porters), Jodie McNee (Britannia, Little Boy Blue) and Adrian Lukis (Collateral, The Crown).

    Bright and ambitious, Joanne Caswell is a newly qualified HMP forensic psychologist working in Newcastle. When her body is found dumped at a landfill site far from home, Vera alights on the fact that Joanne had been looking into the crime of a former patient who recently committed suicide. Vera must follow the trail Joanne has left behind to uncover who might have had a motive to kill her.

    Kenny Doughty returns as Detective Sergeant Aiden Healy, who over the years has proved himself to be a strong and reliable partner to DCI Stanhope. Completing Vera’s team is Jon Morrison who plays DC Kenny Lockhart, Riley Jones who plays DC Mark Edwards and Ibinabo Jack who plays Vera’s newest recruit, DC Jacqueline Williams, who transferred from the Fraud Squad in series eight. Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Three Girls) joins this new series as Pathologist Dr. Malcolm Donahue.

    Other actors appearing across the four feature length episodes include Dean Fagan (Coronation Street, Homefront), Mark Addy (Game of Thrones), Patrick Baladi (No Offence, Stella), Elizabeth Berrington (Vanity Fair, Little Boy Blue) , Robert JamesCollier (Downton Abbey, The Level), Natalie Gumede (Jekyll & Hyde, Coronation Street), Daniel Ryan (Innocent, Mount Pleasant), Steve Evets (Girlfriends, Bancroft), Mark Wingett (The Bill), Claire Higgins (The Worst Witch, The Syndicate) and Ian Reddington (Doctors, Coronation Street).

    The four self-contained crime stories have once again been inspired by the bestselling novels and characters created by acclaimed crime writer Ann Cleeves, who received the Diamond Dagger Award at the Crime Writer’s Association in 2017 for a lifetime achievement for sustained excellence.

    The fourth episode, entitled The Seagull, has been adapted from Ann’s latest book of the same title by Paul Matthew Thompson. Vera has to open up a cold case when a skeleton is discovered hidden in a culvert near the infamous Seagull Club in Whitley Bay. VERA suspects the remains belong to missing person, Robbie Marshall. As VERA starts to ask questions of the Siddens, the family and owners of the old club, one of their workers is murdered in the present. Vera suspects that the two deaths must be connected.

    Made by Silverprint Pictures for ITV, series nine is produced by Will Nicholson and directed by Paul Gay, Lawrence Gough, Carolina Giammetta and Declan O’Dwyer. Regular series writer Martha Hillier also returns to the production and has written episode three, Cold River.

    Silverprint Pictures Executive Producer, Phil Hunter, returns for his third consecutive series.

    Vera performs consistently for ITV with series eight averaging 8.4 million viewers and a 30% share. The show also holds its title as the ‘most watch drama’ in 2018 for ITV, with the highest viewing figures for a drama on the channel.

    Silverprint Pictures is part of ITV Studios.

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