Sunderland Greyhound Stadium to play central role in new series of hit TV drama Vera
Stadium staff have recalled how Brenda Blethyn, who plays the title role, found time to pose for pictures with them and said “the whole cast and crew were a pleasure to deal with”.
The gritty North East-set drama has regularly used the city as a location since it first aired in 2011.
The current 10th series is no different with the City Tea Rooms and Planet House also set to feature in the third episode on January 26.
Sunderland Greyhound Stadium will appear the following Sunday, February 2, with filming taking place over a week late last year.
The cast, film crew and bus-loads of extras took over the Newcastle Road venue to record Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope’s latest investigation. Stadium general manager Joanne Wilson said: “The whole cast and crew were a pleasure to deal with from the off.
“They completely took over our stadium for a week, all the staff and regular punters were extremely excited to get a sneak peak of life on a film set.”The stadium whodunit centres around a suspicious death which leads Vera to Moorden Fields Stadium, the venue’s name in the episode, to find clues and interview suspects.
Cameos include Lucky the greyhound and the stadium’s very own commentator, Mark Cranston, who said: “It was like a normal day at work except I wasn’t commentating on an official race.
“I’m looking forward to hearing my voice on the telly.”
The Port of Sunderland, St Thomas Street, in the city centre, and the Queen Alexandra Bridge also appear in the current ITV series.
Other North-East locations to feature in the new episodes, which started last weekend on January 12, include Marsden Beach, the University Hospital of Hartlepool and Longhoughton Beach, in Northumberland.
Sunderland Greyhound Stadium holds races five times a week and this year is celebrating its 30th year of trading since its relaunch back in 1990.