Vera series back filming in borough

A WHITLEY BAY shop will set the scene for the second series of ITV drama Vera next week when filming takes place in the town.

Children’s footwear retailer Stomp in Park View is one of the locations being used for the series, based on Holywell author Ann Cleeves’ detective novels and starring Oscar nominee Brenda Blethyn.

Series one, broadcast on ITV1 in the spring, was filmed in locations including Knott’s Flats in North Shields, Tynemouth Long Sands and Swan Hunter in Wallsend.

Ann, 56, says she created the character of detective inspector Vera Stanhope because she wanted a realistic female heroine.

She said: “Even with the feminist writers that I enjoy, their female characters are young and fit, they can get a bloke, and they can run,” she said.

“I wanted someone who is more real, someone other people can relate to.

“She’s overweight, she drinks too much, she’s a bit of a slob, she can’t run and she doesn’t go jogging.”

It was purely by a stroke of luck that Ann’s books were adapted for the small screen after producer Elaine Collins came across one in an Oxfam shop.

And the first series proved so successful that a second was commissioned.

Episodes have already been filmed in locations including Tynemouth, the Tyne Valley, Rothbury and Sunderland.

The 2006 Gold Dagger winner, pictured, said she was excited about the new series, which is expected to screened next spring.

She said: “It’s been wonderful getting back together with everyone.

“Lots of the old crew are back and it’s been great to see them.

“They’ve been out filming since the beginning of August.”