Emmerdale announces shock return for THIS character

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(Image credit: ITV)

Feathers are going to be ruffled in Emmerdale…

Emmerdale bosses have announced that actress Samantha Giles is to reprise her role as Bernice Blackstock.

The return of flamboyant Bernice is set to make life complicated for the beautician’s ex fiance Liam Cavanagh, who is now happily loved up with wedding planner Leyla Harding.

Bernice Emmerdale

Look who's back!

Meanwhile, Bernice’s daughter, Gabby Thomas, is also likely to be left reeling - she is yet to inform her mother that she is expecting a baby with Kim Tate’s son, Jamie.

Bernice was last seen in Emmerdale in November 2019, when she abandoned partner Liam the night before their supposed wedding to jet off to Australia to look after ex husband Charlie, who had been seriously injured in a car accident.

Speaking at the time, Samantha Giles - who first joined the soap back in 1998 - said she had got “itchy feet” and wanted to explore new projects. She went on to write her debut children’s novel, Rosemary and The Witches of Pendle Hill.

Eighteen months on, and the 49 year old star says she is “delighted” to be making a comeback, and that playing Bernice again is “meant to be.”

“As an actress, leaving a role that you love is always a hard decision. I’d been lucky to work so consistently for so long, which is rare in our business, so I knew the time had come to be brave and take the leap back in 2019 to pursue my other passion of writing, and focus on getting my first book published,” she explains.

“I’ve now had such a lovely response with Rosemary and The Witches of Pendle Hill, and the down time of the pandemic meant I was able to complete my next two books. I’m a big believer in fate so when Emmerdale offered me the chance to return as Bernice, I took it as a sign that it was meant to be.

“I’m delighted to be returning to play out Bernice’s future storylines, which I’m sure are going to keep the audience entertained. She certainly arrives back with a bang, that’s all I’m allowed to say right now, and I’m looking forward to releasing my next two books whilst juggling her hectic onscreen life!”

Adds Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw: “I am thrilled to have Samantha Giles returning to Emmerdale as Bernice. Samantha is such a fabulous actress, and her portrayal of Bernice is a wonderfully warm, complex mix of tragedy and comedy that always brings a whirlwind of fun and drama.

“Constantly misunderstood, often getting things terribly wrong, Bernice promises to cause quite a stir from the moment she lands back in the village, and will certainly turn lives upside down as she tries to navigate through the changes since she left.”

Emmerdale continues on ITV.

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.