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The residents of Emmerdale are in for the shock of their lives when Bernice Blackstock returns to the Dales this Thursday 27 May.
Bernice left the village in 2019 to tend to her ex in Australia – father to her daughter Dee Dee – who’d been injured in a car accident. After Dee Dee begged her mother to put her first for once, Bernice agreed to go to the other side of the world with her and, in doing so, she called off her engagement to fiancé Dr Liam Cavanagh.
“As far as Bernice is concerned, he should be falling at her feet,” says actress Samantha Giles, who left Emmerdale 18 months ago after 17 years in the soap.
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She continues: “She can’t believe he’s getting married to Leyla – how dare he?”
It’s unclear whether or not Bernice will try to come between the pair, but there will no doubt be some juicy storylines between the trio for audiences to look forward to. After all, the course of soap weddings rarely runs smoothly.
In regards to her acting comeback, Samantha said: “It feels like I never left, especially as the world feels like it’s been on pause for the last year.”
When asked if she found it easy to go back into Bernice’s glamorous wardrobe after months spent in lockdown loungewear, she explained: “Well, it’s nice to do it as somebody else!
“It feels very natural for Bernice to be in nice dresses and heels. I mean, I would never dress like that – it would be weird. But on set, I’m running down the streets in the village in great big high heels, and it feels normal.”
Samantha has also hinted that there could be conflict between Bernice and the Tate family. Her daughter Gabby has taken up residence in Home Farm, but Samantha says Bernice is determined to free her from “the clutches of the Tates.”
“I think she very much wants to take a stand for her daughter,” she added and admitted that losing Gabby to Kim Tate is “a fear” for Bernice.
That being said, Samantha is the first to admit that her desire to reconnect with Gabby doesn’t come from a maternal place.
"She's quite a selfish person and not a natural mother," Samantha explained. "She's used to putting her own needs before her children. Although she's come back for Gabby, it's been convenient for her because it's all gone wrong in Australia with Charlie."
Whatever Samantha’s return to the soap means for the residents of the Dales, one thing’s for certain – Bernice is back, and she’s back with a bang.
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