'Bit of a surprise' Vera's Mark Edwards star speaks out on show return

ITV cop drama Vera began in 2011 and saw DCI Stanhope (played by Brenda Blethyn) and Joe Ashworth (David Leon) working together to solve a number of crimes in Newcastle. However, in 2014, Joe decided to leave and was replaced by Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty) who has remained by Vera’s side ever since.

Over the years, the ITV series has welcomed several celebrity guest stars to feature on the show.

More recently, the show featured Line of Duty and Doctor Who star Craig Parkinson, who played the husband of a woman who was murdered.

It has also seen a shake-up of detectives and police staff who work behind the scenes.

During season one, Riley Jones made his debut as a uniformed police officer called Mark Edwards.

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He also made a brief return as a PC when he filmed a scene with leading lady Brenda Blethyn.

However, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, the actor admitted he was taken aback when show bosses offered him a permanent role.

When viewers saw Mark again, he was promoted to a plain-clothed detective and is often seen in the office doing the background work for Vera and Aiden.

“I was very lucky,” the actor explained when discussing how he landed the role.

The actor continued: “They were doing the scene where the little boy is dragged out of the river, and they had this dummy to look like the boy and it was just all really interesting.

“So, I just went around, and I watched, and I was chatting to people, and I was trying to learn.”

The Mark Edwards star explained he was surprised when he got asked back to appear on the show again.

Riley recalled: “It was a bit of a surprise actually, because I got told that I was coming back again, and I was like ‘Oh lovely’.

“And I got a call from the costume department, and I was quite surprised as they were asking about measurements and stuff.

“I was thinking ‘Have you not got the same uniform?’ and they said ‘Has nobody told you? You’re not in uniform anymore, you’ve been brought into the incident in your plain clothes, and I was like, ‘Oh God really?’

“Nobody had really mentioned that so that was quite a surprise.”

Vera is expected to air on ITV later this year.

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