Ahead of the 11th series of Vera starting on Sunday, August 29, leading actress Brenda Blethyn visited the Washington Riding Centre where she agreed to become a patron for the Tyne and Wear Riding for Disabled charity.
She said: "It is all just so lovely, even the inner city locations are so vibrant, I love being out on the moors and seeing the seascapes, it is just breathtaking.
"I’m told tourism has increased by at least 25% which is nice, especially after a pandemic and people can spend some money in the area.
"The people are so nice, it is true that there is a difference between people in the north and south, not that I don’t like southerners, I do as I am one, but northerners are much more friendly.”
She added: "We’re all grateful to be working but at the same time we were a bit nervous about coming into work in a pandemic.
"The protocol was so extreme and it made things difficult in terms of social distancing however the first two episodes that you will see, a lot of green screens were used to make it look like there is no social distancing so hopefully the audience won’t be able to tell the difference.”
"I was pretty proud of the pilot when we made it and there was no guarantee that they were going to make more episodes but what they did do was have enough faith in it to commission another three episodes.
"After the first two series, they started recomissioning without seeing what the figures were like because they were pretty confident that people were going to like it which is so gratifying.”