Bernice Blackstock will make a surprise return to Emmerdale to stir up trouble in the romance between Leyla Harding and Liam Cavanagh.
The couple, played by Roxy Shahidi and Jonny McPherson in the ITV soap, experienced a rollercoaster start to their romance but their relationship is finally back on track and a wedding is being planned.
However, the return of Liam’s ex Bernice, played by Samantha Giles, will throw things into chaos as she was last seen the night before her proposed wedding to Liam, when she dumped him and left for Australia to look after her former husband, Charlie, who had been involved in an accident.
Giles departed the show in 2019 to publish her first book.
The return of her character will also be a shock for her pregnant daughter Gabby Thomas (Rosie Bentham).
Laura Shaw, producer of Emmerdale, said: “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.”
Giles added: “As an actress leaving a role that you love is always a hard decision and 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.
“I’ve now had such a lovely response with Rosemary And The Witches Of Pendle Hill and the downtime 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!”
Emmerdale continues Monday to Friday at 7pm and on Thursdays at 8pm on ITV.