Vera star ‘nervous’ about introducing character to ITV series

Vera: Construction worker gets hit by a lorry

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On Sunday, ITV fans were thrilled as the third episode of series 11 of Vera hit their screens. DCI Vera Stanhope (played by Brenda Blethyn) and her sidekick Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty) were back to solve another mystery murder after a robbery at a port went wrong. Vera’s colleagues, who work behind the scenes, were also on hand to help solve the case.

However, in an exclusive interview with, the actor who plays Mark Edwards admitted he was nervous when his character was brought on to the show.

Riley first made an appearance as a uniformed police officer in the first series of Vera.

He then had another brief appearance with DCI Stanhope, before ITV bosses brought him on to the team properly.

Mark was then added to the team and did a lot of the background work for the detective.

Speaking about how he felt when he first joined the show as a leading character, Riley began: “You always have a little bit of nerves when you’re doing anything big like that.

“But I think it played well with the character because that first scene coming into the incident room, he is a little bit nervous anyway.

“So, you kind of use that energy and it worked quite well.

“It’s good to have that nervous energy because it does help with work.”

The actor continued: “And it’s also nice when you can relax into something and you feel confident and comfortable to be able to play around with it.”

Riley went on to discuss the change to his character in series 11.

Viewers quickly noticed Mark, who usually donned a head of blonde hair, had shaved it off.

The reason behind the 33-year-old’s dramatic decision was that his hair was growing thin.

“It started to go thin in all honesty and it was on its way out,” the actor admitted.

“And to be honest, I could have probably held on to it for maybe the next five to 10 years but I just think when it starts to go like that… I mean each to their own but for me personally, I think I’d rather take control.

“And rather than let the hair grow gradually thinner and thinner, I just thought, you know what I’m just going to embrace it and take control.”

The actor went on to recall being worried about how viewers would react to the sudden change.

“It’s quite a different look and you are worried because viewers get used to characters and they love characters a certain way,” he added.

“So there is always that kind of worry when you change something and how it is going to be received.”

The next episode of Vera will air on Sunday and will see the detective and her team investigating the murder of a school teacher called Lizzy.

Lizzy’s body is found at the bottom of a cliff, but Vera quickly realises it was not an accident.

Vera airs on Sunday at 8pm on ITV.

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