Bernice Thomas

Bernice Thomas

Bernice Thomas (née Blackstock) was a fictional character on the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. She was played by Samantha Giles.

Character's background

Bernice arrived in Emmerdale in 1998 and immediately found work as a barmaid at the local pub the Woolpack. She found a rival in fellow barmaid Tricia Stokes, but they became friends once their boyfriends both turned out to be gay and having an affair together. By this point Bernice had become the landlady of the Woolpack.

Bernice soon began dating the local vicar Ashley Thomas and after an on-off relationship, the couple finally married after the Bishop gave them his blessing. They married on 25 December 2000 with Tricia as her bridesmaid and her mother Diane Blackstock walking her down the aisle and giving her away, despite her estranged father Rodney Blackstock being in attendance at the wedding.

However, Bernice soon became bored with married life to, as he continued throw himself into his work. In February 2001, Bernice began an affair with chef Carlos Diaz and within a few months she discovered that she was pregnant, although she was unsure of who the father was. On several occasions she tried to stop their sordid affair, but they always ended up back together. The only person who knew of their secret trysts were her supportive mum Diane. During one of their splits Carlos began dating her younger halfsister Nicola Blackstock, who had just come into Bernice's life as for years she had not known that she had even existed. In September 2001 Bernice was faced with a dilemma when Nicola announced that she was pregnant with Carlos's baby and they were going to be married. However at her hen night Nicola confessed to Bernice that she wasn't really pregnant and had just used it as an excuse to trap Carlos in the hope that he'd eventually settle down with her. Feeling that he had the right to know the truth, a heavily pregnant Bernice managed to get the two together on the day of the wedding just before the ceremony on 4 October 2001 and forced Nicola to admit the truth. Carlos was angry at Nicola's deception and in his rage he informed the devastated bride that he had been having an affair with Bernice for months and he may be fathering her unborn child. After a small catfight with Bernice, who had tried to calm her down, Nicola stormed off into the church and announced to a packed congregation that the wedding was off, as Carlos and Bernice were having an affair. Ashley, who was presiding over the ceremony, was devastated and told Bernice that he didn't want to know when she tried to explain herself. He told her to pack her things and never come back. As she fled off in tears, Ashley broke down in the church.

Now living with her father Rodney in seclusion as she had become an outcast in the village, Bernice went into labour whilst trying to reconcile with Ashley. After he had thrown her out of his home when she tried to make him understand her infidelity, she collapsed just by the gate and her waters broke. He called an ambulance and got news to Diane, who accompanied her daughter to the hospital. With Diane by her side and a helpless Ashley watching throw the window at the delivery room, Bernice gave birth to her daughter Gabrielle Thomas on 25 December 2001. After confiding in her mum that she hoped that Carlos was the father as she would probably have a better life with him, she was secretly disappointed when he later showed up at the hospital and informed her that his results of the paternity test were negative, meaning that Ashley was the father. After having a long discussion together Ashley and Bernice reconciled in January 2002.

However, Bernice began to have doubts about her marriage again and it was clear to everyone that she wasn't responding well to motherhood. After Gabrielle's christening, Bernice decided that she no longer loved Ashley and told him so one afternoon when he suggested that they try for another baby.

After separating again, this time permanently, Bernice accepted a job in Brighton and said her goodbyes to her family and friends. She decided that it would be better off for Gabrielle to stay with Ashley as he would be a better parent than her, due to the fact that she felt no maternal instincts towards the child. It was then that she tearfully left the village in the back of a taxi for her new life.

She returned in February 2004 for the funeral of her beloved friend Tricia Dingle, having declined her offer the year before to be her bridesmaid at her wedding to Marlon Dingle. Staying with Ashley, she expressed her heartbreak at having missed Gabby grow up and begged Ashley to allow her to make up for it by taking her to Brighton to live with her. Ashley refused, saying that it would confuse their daughter, and after realising that Ashley no longer loved her, Bernice decided that they should put their marriage to an end and filed for divorce before leaving the village again.

It was later announced that Bernice had found love again and that they were engaged to marry. It was also announced that she had fallen pregnant by her fiance and after phoning Ashley one day, she told him that she had given birth to another daughter, which she had named Diane after her mother. Ashley then sent their daughter Gabby to Brighton with her gran Diane in order to see her new baby sister.

At the start of 2008 after Baby Daniel's death, Bernice rang Ashley to attempt to get Gabby to go to stay with her for a while whilst all arrangements are made and major sorrowful feelings are present.

See also

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