Emmerdale’s Bernice in shock proposal!
Heartbroken Bernice Blackstock plans an elaborate Wild West Murder Mystery fundraiser in Emmerdale – and is keen to make Dr Liam Cavanagh her Sheriff as she prepares to propose! Actors Samantha Giles and Jonny McPherson tease upcoming episodes
Unlucky in love, Bernice Blackstock, brilliantly played by Samantha Giles, thought that this time, she’d struck gold with dishy Doctor Liam Cavanagh – and she had until she accused him of being a serial killer!
Since then, she has been trying everything to win Liam (Jonny McPherson) back but without success. So, in a last ditch attempt to win back her man, Bernice has planned an elaborate Wild West themed murder mystery event in the village, under the premise of fundraising for the Children’s Ward at Hotten General.
Actress Samantha Giles, who plays Bernice Blackstock, said at a recent press event: “She’s decided to throw a huge charity extravaganza with a Wild West theme. It’s all to support the Children’s hospital that looked after Debbie Dingle’s daughter Sarah.
“But Bernice also knows that Liam has a penchant for murder mystery events and dressing up – she thinks he fancies himself as a bit of a cowboy. So while it’s supposed to be a charity event, Bernice keeps forgetting about that – as the main point for her is to stage her big proposal to Liam and she’s not even considered what will happen if it doesn’t work.”
Bernice is still feeling down especially when Liam insists he’s not planning on attending the Wild West Fundraiser but Bernice manages to convince him, on admitting she’s given him the role of the sheriff! But the bigger mystery is does Liam still love Bernice or is it all over for their romance
“He loves her, but if your partner thinks you could murder someone, that’s a stumbling block,” says actor Jonny McPherson, who plays Liam Cavanagh. “She goes to so much effort with the Wild West event – it’s a touching declaration of her love. Liam’s the sheriff, so I watched The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, with Lee Van Cleef doing those classic scenes where he’s looking left and then right, so we could emulate that as much as possible.”
With everyone dressed up in their costumes, the whole village enters into the spirit of the day.
“Bernice goes as this character called Miss Kitty – the owner of the Saloon Bar,” Samantha adds. “I think, historically, she’s a former sex worker – she has a long, curly hairpiece, a feather in the hair and a long off-the-shoulder dress. I also had to wear awful things called whale-net tights that have big holes in them. Apparently, strippers wear them. You think, ‘How can you be bothered?”
Later, a stetson adorned ‘Sheriff’ Liam rides through a classic western version of Main Street – he’s loving this role and so was Liam. “It was fantastic,” Jonny enthuses. “There’s a fella called Mark who trains people to ride horses. He’s done Poldark and everything! I had a day training with him – he helps people to look as if they know what they are doing. He’s a terrific teacher.”
Meanwhile, Nicola is upset she’s not the Sheriff while an apprehensive Bernice whispers she’s going to propose to Liam later.
Samantha adds: “I don’t know if Liam will be her happy ending, but I think there is potential there. They are well suited – they both have quirks. I think Bernice will want a big extravagant wedding if they do get married – she’ll want to dress up and it’ll be fun. But Bernice doesn’t get a happy ending usually, does she?”
As part of the day Kerry Wyatt (Laura Norton) finds herself locked up in the salon ‘gaol’ by ‘US Marshalls Jimmy King (Nick Miles) and Dan Spencer (Liam Fox). Soon she’s appalled when daughter Amy (Natalie Ann Jamieson) is locked in with her to heal their differences, but will it work?
The villagers admire each other’s Western outfits, Bernice complains about the lack of horses but then swoons to see Sheriff Liam ride in. Rishi offers to store the charity fundraising takings it in the factory safe. While Sheriff Liam announces there will be a surprise at the end of the day but even he doesn’t know what it is… So will Bernice’s proposal go to plan?
While Bernice and Liam’s relationship has mainly been played for laughs, both Jonny and Samantha wouldn’t mind seeing their characters deal with the dramatic too.
“There’s a lot of fun and comedy stuff at the moment, but if Liam went down the psychopathic route, that would be fine too!” says Jonny. “Liam is increasingly being written as a cross between Hugh Grant and Alan Partridge – which I’m delighted about!”
“I hope that there is going to be some more serious stuff,” adds Sam. “I think that can often work really well with ‘comedy’ characters – it’s more poignant when someone who’s always seen as comic has something difficult to deal with…”
See how the Wild West Murder Mystery pans out starting Monday 29th July on ITV at 7pm.
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