Brenda Blethyn has revealed she did not use a stunt double in scenes in Vera which saw her teetering on the edge of a tall building.
The 71-year-old actress - who plays frumpy but loveable DCI Vera Stanhope in the hit ITV crime drama - said she does not have a fear of heights so was able to shoot the scene in the upcoming seventh series of the show herself.
She said: "That really was me. It was the fifth floor or possibly higher.
"Every safety precaution was observed and if someone was required to approach the edge their ankles were tethered and at the other end of the rope was a stunt man ready to leap into action should the unthinkable happen.
"Good job as it was a sheer drop!"
"Fortunately I'm perfectly all right with heights. In fact I didn't want the chain on," she added.
The seventh series will see Vera and her team drawn into four more compelling mysteries, including the death of a wildlife ranger, left alone overnight on a remote island.
An eighth series is due to go into production later this year.
Blethyn said she is proud of the fact the show is an "unshowy look at policing in the North East".
"Vera herself is a flawed character," she said. "She's very clever, dishevelled and not prone to vanity. That's what I like about it.
"It's not reliant on lipstick or the catwalk."
:: Vera returns to ITV on Sunday March 19 at 8pm.