Vera boss opens up on Aiden Healy star’s ‘bumpy start’ on ITV drama

Vera discusses murder case with DC Mark Edwards

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Series 11 of Vera was cut short due to filming being delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of the full six episodes being shown on ITV, viewers were only able to watch the first two instalments which aired earlier this month. The final four episodes of series 11 will be available to watch in 2022. The first two programmes saw DCI Vera Stanhope (played by Brenda Blethyn) back with her right-hand man Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty), as they attempted to solve another murder. The dynamic duo have become firm favourites with fans, although, according to executive producer, Phil Hunter, Aiden and Vera didn’t get off to the best of starts.

Speaking about the actor who plays Aiden, Phil began: “Kenny plays a crucial role.

“To be second in command with such a formidable DCI. Kenny is wonderful.

“DS Aiden Healy has to be that constant for Vera, no matter what mood she is in.

“She is completely wedded to the job whereas he’s got a more complex domestic life with his wife and his child. 

“But Vera expects the same discipline and support from him, day in, day out.”

He continued: “Vera has plenty of heart, she will of course look out for him and all of her team.

“But she expects Aiden to be there and on the ball. Kenny pulls that off from an actor’s point of view brilliantly.”

Despite Vera and Aiden being the perfect pairing now, it hasn’t always been that way as Phil admitted the duo had a “bumpy start” to their relationship.

“It’s great to see how their relationship has developed on screen,” he explained.

 

“We pulled together a promo reel for the 10-year celebration screening in January last year and we picked out one of Kenny’s early episodes when there was a really bumpy start to this relationship with his new DCI.

“We’ve watched their relationship flourish to where it is now, both professionally and emotionally, you can see Aiden really cares about Vera.

“There are times he has to call her judgement into question all in the name of protecting her.

“And as a result of their bond, there are moments when Vera lets that in.”

Viewers know Vera is a force to be reckoned with, and over the years her tough-cop image has softened.

However, the TV boss explained there are times where fans will see a more “vulnerable” side to the DCI.

He said: “Vera is formidable and will take on anything and anyone.

“But there are times when she has moments of vulnerability. When you see that and how Aiden very humbly supports her, it’s great.”

 

 

“Compared to the young DS who felt like he was just getting short shrift all of the time to earn his stripes. It’s been a really lovely character journey to witness,” Phil added.

ITV has not confirmed when Vera will air the remaining episodes of series 11, meaning there could be a significant wait for more.

Filming is taking place right now, with the cast and crew recently being spotted in Whitley Bay and Tynemouth.

The shoot was originally pushed back into the autumn, but ongoing restrictions have inevitably led to a longer production cycle.

Vera is available to watch on the ITV Hub.

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