Emmerdale star Samantha Giles discusses Bernice's big storyline

Emmerdale's Samantha Giles has opened up about how important her character Bernice Blackstock's storyline is for women.

Samantha has played Bernice on the ITV show for 25 years, and Bernice's recent storyline sees the star and her on-screen counterpart sharing a lot in common: both are going through menopause.

At the end of last year, Bernice discovered that she was starting to go through menopause, which explained her moments of memory loss and feeling flustered.

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Speaking to the Mirror, Samantha said it was important to talk and help others to realise they are not alone.

On the audience's reaction to her character going through menopause, she said: "At the beginning, it was a bit mixed as some people were wondering why they had given this story to a 'comedy' character.

"But I think that's the point. This happens to everyone, even someone like Bernice. Just because she's a fun character, it doesn't mean that she won't be dealing with something like this and it won't be really debilitating."


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Samantha commented on how supportive her husband, Sean Pritchard, has been, saying: "He is really good. He has to be, as he lives in a house full of females! But seriously, he really is. My eldest daughter's 14, so she's dealing with hormones, too, so I think that we're all just quite tolerant as a family.

"And, obviously, if I'm going to take it out on anybody, then it's more likely to be my husband than the kids. He probably gets the brunt of it!"

Bernice is starting to get the skip back in her step after purchasing the local bed and breakfast with Bob Hope, played by Tony Audenshaw, which opens this week.

bernice blackstock, bob hope, emmerdale

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On the B&B, Samantha said: "It's made her feel useful and worthwhile and given her a bit of confidence. I think all of that goes hand-in-hand with menopause, doesn't it? A lack of confidence and feeling as if you're worthless in life and that you've kind of come to the end of your useful years. I think this has helped her a lot.

"Plus, the hormone replacement therapy is helping. It's not a cure-all and, obviously, it's important for us to get across that hormone replacement therapy is not going to completely sort out all your symptoms, but it is going to help. So, things have calmed down a little bit for her."

Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.

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