Brenda Blethyn was left 'devastated' when husband 'fell for someone else'

Brenda Blethyn is once again a prominent figure on British screens as she stars in Vera as the detective who is obsessed with her work and fights her inner demons, while solving cases with her trusted colleague Sergeant Joe. Ms Blethyn has won multiple accolades during her showbiz career, including one Golden Globe, one BAFTA, one Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress and two Academy Award nominations. She pursued an administrative career before enrolling in the Guildford School of Acting in her late 20s. She married her first husband when she was just 19 years old.

In an interview in 2013, Ms Blethyn revealed the heartbreaking circumstances which led to their split.

She told The Guardian: “My brothers looked after me and protected me from predators – so well that I was quite innocent sexually when I came to marry for the first time at 19.

“My first husband, Alan Blethyn, just fell for someone else.

“I was devastated when he left, but he really was a lovely fella – and the other lady is nice too.

“It was just one of those things.”

In a 2019 interview with The Scotsman, Ms Blethyn also discussed her first marriage.

She revealed a bit more about their split, admitting her busy schedule as an actor got in the way of their marriage.

Ms Blethyn added: “He met somebody else. But she was nice, too.”

The Vera star is now married to Michael Mayhew, who she married in 2010 more than three decades after he popped the question.

They eventually got married because they were getting older.

She explained in an interview with the Radio Times: “We were getting on a bit and it seemed the sensible thing to do. Neither of us were going anywhere so it just presents a problem if one of us pops our clogs.”

READ MORE: Brenda Blethyn shares which co-star was at her wedding

She also discussed how she is embracing ageing in the candid interview.

She said: “Age is beautiful. I don’t want to look like everybody else. I really don’t. Ageing is all part of life’s experience, isn’t it? It all tells a story

Ms Blethyn has played DCI Vera Stanhope in the north east-set ITV drama Vera since 2011.

Discussing how she compares to the character, the star said: “There are similarities.

“I’m very practical. I don’t spend ages in front of the mirror. I’m independent. I do the right thing, I think. I always try to do the right thing, anyway.

“My husband says when I finish Vera my body comes home a month before my head. You never let it go.”


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Ms Blethyn once admitted she had second thoughts over whether to return to the ITV series.

Speaking to The Sunday People in 2017, the actor revealed: “When we finished filming the latest series in October, I was worn out.

“I couldn’t do any more of these. It was too exhausting.

“In previous years I’ve made a film in between series of Vera, but not this time.”

Nevertheless, she has returned for several seasons since.

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