A NORTH EAST monument has become an unlikely star after appearing in the first episode of a brand new series of ITVs Vera.

The hit show returned to our screens on Sunday evening for the 11th series after months of filming at locations across County Durham, Teesside and Tyne & Wear.

The show, which features Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope along with Kenny Doughty, who plays DS Aiden Healy, returned after much anticipation.

And it seems that anticipation has turned into excitement as the very monument that featured in the show has become a hive of activity for fans and visitors alike.

Read more: 17 pictures of Brenda Blethyn filming in the region - as new series of ITV Vera airs

ITV previously revealed how the series would begin with the death of local builder, Jim Tullman who is found beaten to death on the steps of Collingwood Monument.

The Northern Echo: The scene at Collingwood Monument Picture: ITVThe scene at Collingwood Monument Picture: ITV

In the first few minutes of the episode, the monument which is in Tynemouth, makes an appearance as DCI Stanhope tries to understand what has happened at the scene.

Transformed into a set, the monument is then cordoned off as crime scene investigators photograph and examine Mr Tullman’s body as it is laid strewn across the steps.

On Bank Holiday Monday, fans eager to re-enact the pose were spotted as pictures revealed how the monument had become an unlikely star.

The Northern Echo: The monument has become a star Picture: GRAHAM SOULTThe monument has become a star Picture: GRAHAM SOULT

Graham Soult, who is a retail consultant, captured the moment fans tried their best to find the exact location where Mr Tullman’s body is found in the show.

Meanwhile, 12-year-old Sophie of Blyth, Northumberland, paid a visit to the filming location to recreate the scene.

Her father, Tim Cooke said: "Having seen the episode on Sunday and realising we'd never visited the Collingwood Memorial we decided to pay a visit and on the spur of the moment I decided to have a go at recreating the scene."

The Northern Echo: Sophie,12, from Blythe re-enacts the scene at the monument Picture: TIM COOKESophie,12, from Blythe re-enacts the scene at the monument Picture: TIM COOKE

Since the show aired, other fans have been sharing their own visits to the monument over the years.

A spokesperson for ITV previously summed up how the eleventh series will play out with Blethyn and cast returning for more. 

They said: "DCI Vera Stanhope questions how such a seemingly beloved and imposing figure could be attacked so viciously.

"The mystery deepens when she discovers that Tullman was due to testify in court as the key witness in a violent assault. Could these two crimes be connected?

"As Vera delves deeper into Jim Tullman’s life she discovers unresolved bitterness between his estranged wife Barbara and doting son John Paul, while tensions with old family friends Gary and Lesley Clayton threaten to spill over.

"Vera must see through the web of family grievances, jealousies and lies to ensure justice is done."

The next episode of the new series is set to air on ITV next Sunday.

To catch up on new and old Vera episodes on the ITV Hub - click here 


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