More than 1,200 people from across the region will star on the small screen when ITV hit Vera returns this weekend.

Sunday sees the start of the ninth series of the detective drama, starring Brenda Blethyn, with four two-hour long episodes screening over the next four weekends.

Casting agent NE1 4.TV has supplied supporting artists, also known as extras, for the 1,200 background roles in the forthcoming series.

The supporting artists travelled to sites across the North East – ranging from Blanchland, Northumberland to Redcar, North Yorks – for filming between May and October 2018.

One supporting artist, Syed Shah, 47, spent two days on set and managed to get a snap with some of the Vera cast, he appears in the fourth episode of the show.

He said: “It was great fun. I was in the police station on set, walking behind Brenda Blethyn as she said her lines.

“During a break one of the other supporting artists asked for a photo, so the cast posed together and I joined!

“It is a lovely memento to have from the show. I had a really enjoyable time.”

Student Alex Duckett-Pike, 28, appears in this Sunday’s episode, entitled ‘Blind Spot’ as a commuter. He said: “I had never anything like this before and it was such an amazing experience.

“Vera is a fantastic show and features so many iconic spots in the region – I am looking forward to seeing them and trying to spot myself when the programme airs this weekend!”

NE1 4.TV, based in Ouseburn, Newcastle, represents thousands of actors, supporting artists, dancers, models and even animals across the North East.

As well as Vera, the company has supplied actors for hit shows including CBBC’s ‘The Dumping Ground’, Netflix’s Frontier, and Ken Loach films ‘I, Daniel Blake’ and ‘Sorry We Missed You’.

Since beginning work with Vera in 2014, NE1 4.TV has seen roles for supporting artists hugely increase with every new season.

Owner of the agency Bessie Williams said: “This was our biggest year yet with Vera.

“We started providing supporting artists to Vera from Season 6 onwards and each year the numbers have grown dramatically. 

“It is fantastic that a show as popular as Vera is able to show off just what we have in the North East to the rest of the country and beyond.

“But it is not just the stunning scenery and locations, the North East is a hotbed of talented actors, actresses and production crew.

“We can only hope more production companies take notice of what we have up here and choose the region as the base for their next series or film.”

NE1 4.TV runs its own ‘Ticbox’ courses, which provide training for many of the supporting artists who appeared on Vera.

To find out more about NE1 4.TV and their Ticbox courses, head to www.NE14.TV. You can find them on social media at @NE14.TV or @ticboxTVcourses, and can email them at info@ne14.tv.

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