Tea Time Tidbit for the week of June 3, 2019
Afternoon Tea will be taking a short break from Monday, June 3rd through Friday, June 7th, in order that we can do some on-air fundraising. The programs will resume June 10th.
Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope
On Friday, June 7th at 8pm, one of the U.K.’s most popular detective series, Vera, returns to MPT. The first episode, in what is now season nine of this detective series, finds DCI Vera Stanhope investigating the murder of a trainee forensic psychologist found dead on a Northumberland landfill site.
Brenda Blethyn, who has played the floppy hat wearing northern detective for the last eight years, was reportedly thinking about retirement when she was first offered the role of Vera. Fortunately for us, the now 73-year-old award winning actress, put her retirement on hold and works five months a year filming a limited number of episodes.
As much as she enjoys her role – a role she calls a “joy” to perform - the schedule can apparently be grueling. Blethyn has some advice though as to how to deal with the kind of schedule she’s on. And that’s to “make sure you go to bed early, probably knock wine on the head and make sure you’ve done your homework.”
I can just hear Vera giving that same advice – in her blunt, Geordie accent. Excepting, despite her spot on accent when she plays DCI Stanhope, Blethyn isn’t a Geordie. She was actually raised in the south of England in Ramsgate, Kent. Kenny Doughty, who plays DCI Aiden Healy in the series, is a northerner through and through, having been born in Barnsley, Yorkshire.
Blethyn and Doughty might not share a birthplace, but both grew up in impoverished families.
"We were very poor when we were growing up,” Blethyn, the youngest of nine children, said in interview. “We didn't have a television and sometimes we didn't have a wireless because it got cut off because we hadn't paid the bill.”
Money was also short in the Doughty household. His father had left home when he was a toddler and his mother “had it very tough.” They “got by on grants and dinner tokens, anything that would help us to survive,” said Doughty. When Doughty eventually decided he wanted to become an actor and moved to London to train at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, it was apparently an American benefactor who paid his fees.
Blethyn and Doughty are currently hard at work back in Northumberland filming series 10 of Vera. Meanwhile you can catch the start of the four-episode season nine series Friday, June 7th at 8pm on MPT.
To contact Heather:
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117