She initially arrived in the village as the new temporary barmaid at the Woolpack, lodging with Betty Eagleton. She left the village after her stint ended, but was made the new bar manager after a fight between Tricia Stokes and Mandy Dingle scuppered their chances for that role. Bernice discovered her partner Gavin Ferris was having a gay affair with Jason Kirk and they called off their engagement. Bernice began a relationship with Ashley Thomas and married him, but shortly after began an affair with her sister Nicola's fiancee, Carlos Diaz. Shortly after, Bernice discovered she was pregnant but is unsure of who the father is. She gave birth to her daughter, Gabrielle, at Christmas 2001, but immediately found it hard to cope with motherhood and subsequently left the village.
Bernice returned briefly for Tricia's funeral in January 2004. She wasn't seen again until eight years later, during which time, she was married to a man named Charlie and had a daughter named Diane, coincidentally born on the day her mother married Jack Sugden. Bernice unexpectedly returned to the village and told her mother that her marriage was over, but Diane discovered that Bernice had actually been having an affair with a married man, Steve Harland. Steve left the village and after being held hostage by Cameron Murray in the Woolpack siege, she opened a salon and began a relationship with Andy Sugden, but that didn't last long as Andy got back together with his ex-wife Katie Addyman. Bernice fell in love with Liam Cavanagh and planned to marry to him, but had to delay the marriage after hearing that Dee Dee's father had been involved in an accident, and left the village with Dee Dee to be with him.
1968-1998: Early life
1998-1999: Arrival and rivalry/friendship with Tricia Stokes
Bernice arrives in the village and finds work as a barmaid at The Woolpack. Initially, she does not like Tricia Stokes, but after they discover their partners - Gavin and Jason Kirk - are having an affair, they become good friends. Bernice calls off her engagement to Gavin, who was unfaithful with her friend, Stella Jones. She then becomes the landlady of The Woolpack thanks to a bequest from the guilt-ridden Stella.
2000-2002: Marriage to Ashley Thomas
Bernice begins a relationship with the local vicar, Ashley. Ashley falls in love with Bernice but does not have the courage to tell her. When George Postlethwaite the bishop learns of their romance he offers Ashley a job in Leeds, but Bernice does not like the idea. After getting the bishop's blessing, they marry on Christmas Day. Bernice is given away by her mother, Diane, even though her father, Rodney Blackstock is in attendance. Bernice falls pregnant, but she has a miscarriage. In her grief, Bernice lashes out at Ashley and he decides to accept a temporary job away from the village. Feeling abandoned by Ashley, Bernice begins an affair with Carlos. Bernice discovers she is pregnant again but is unsure of who the father is. However, when Bernice's mother Diane discovers their affair she forces them to end it. Bernice's half-sister, Nicola, arrives in the village and begins dating Carlos and later announces they are getting married and are expecting a baby together. Nicola confesses to Bernice that she is not pregnant, but wants Carlos to settle down with her. Bernice makes Nicola tell Carlos the truth and Carlos admits he is having an affair with Bernice. Nicola tells the village about Bernice and Carlos, which devastates Ashley. He tells Bernice to leave.
During an argument with Ashley, Bernice goes into labour. She is taken to the hospital where she gives birth to a daughter, who she names Gabrielle Thomas. Bernice hopes Carlos is Gabrielle's father, but a paternity test reveals Ashley is her father, leading Ashley and Bernice to reconcile. After a long discussion, Ashley and Bernice reconcile. However, Bernice begins having doubts about her marriage and does respond well to motherhood. After Gabrielle's christening, Bernice tells Ashley she does not love him anymore. Bernice accepts a job in Brighton and leaves the village. She decides to let Gabrielle stay with Ashley.
2004-2012: Intervening years
Bernice returns a couple of years later to attend Tricia's funeral. She confides in Rodney that she hopes to bring Gabby back to Brighton but when she goes to ask Ashley she sees the bond he has with Gabby and realises that she could never take her away from him. Bernice departs the village again leaving Ashley and Diane unaware of her intentions. Bernice gets engaged to another man and gives birth to another daughter who she names Diane, after her mother, on the same day that her mother married Jack Sugden. In October 2006, Bernice was involved in a car accident and Diane, her sister Val, Jack and Rodney went over to visit her.
2012-2014: Return to Emmerdale
Bernice returns to the village to see Diane and she admits that her marriage to Charlie is over. Ashley asks Bernice what her intentions towards Gabby are and she states that she wants to spend some more time with her. Ashley and Laurel Thomas tell Bernice that they need to set some ground rules when it comes to Gabby, such as Laurel must not be sidelined. Diane and Rodney later learn that Bernice has been having an affair. They confront her and Bernice reveals that she is in love with a man named Steve and she is waiting for him to leave his wife. Bernice's half-sister Nicola takes matters into her own hands and informs Steve's wife about her husband's relationship with Bernice and she throws him out so he joins Bernice in the village. The only thing that Bernice is now unhappy about is that Charlie is proving awkward about allowing her access to their daughter so she goes to visit him, hoping to persuade him to be more reasonable. Bernice becomes Acting landlady of The Woolpack working alongside Chas Dingle while Diane is away in Brighton. Diane returns weeks later to inform everyone that she is moving to Australia and is selling her share of The Woolpack. Bernice has high hopes of buying Diane's share and becoming landlady again as does Chas. Diane eventually reveals that she has decided to stay and takes The Woolpack off the market dashing Bernice's dreams of owning the pub again.
In October 2013, Bernice, along with many other villages including Diane and Nicola, are held hostage in The Woolpack by Cameron Murray during The Woolpack Siege. He orders for Bernice to give him the pub's keys, and if she threatens him in anyway, he will shoot and kill Diane with a gun he has stolen. Bernice, Diane, Nicola and the others are all eventually released by Cameron, but he keeps Chas and Debbie Dingle hostage. In 2014, Bernice is stunned to hear that Diane has slept with Eric Pollard, the husband of Diane's sister, Val, but sticks up for her mother. Bernice then enters internet dating and meets a man named Anton Bluth. She tells him that her name is "Beverley", and they arrange to meet up at Nicola and her husband Jimmy's house. Bernice believes that she and Anton are going to have sex, but when they get to the bedroom, Anton handcuffs her to the bed and steals most of Jimmy and Nicola's belongings. Bernice is humiliated and ashamed and she vows to get revenge on Anton. She gets Nicola involved, forcing her to pretend to be a woman named "Bernice", who has fallen in love with Anton. When Anton begins pestering her, Nicola panics and hides in the toilets, where she calls Bernice. When Bernice arrives, Anton is nowhere to be seen. She then kicks one of the toilet cubical doors, and knocks Anton unconscious and leaves him with a nose-bleed. Bernice then strips him off and ties him to the toilet, and takes photos of him on his mobile phone. She then blackmails him into getting Jimmy and Nicola's belongings back.
2014-2016 Opening a salon and relationship with Andy Sugden
In March 2014, she begins to plan to open a salon in the area. Despite the fact that most people seem relatively uninterested, Bernice holds a brainstorming session with Alicia Gallagher, David Metcalfe and Val amongst others, however, it is ruined when Val reveals to Alicia that her son Jacob has been stealing items from her and David's shop to sell at school. Kerry Wyatt begs Bernice to let her work in the salon, as she is a beautician and hairdresser without qualifications. She gives Pearl Ladderbanks and Betty Eagleton a makeover to try to prove herself. Declan Macey lets Bernice rent Pear Tree Cottage, even though her brother-in-law Jimmy works there already. Andy Sugden agrees to help her set up the salon and she gives him a free massage to thank him, but he gets embarrassed and leaves when his ex-girlfriend Kerry arrives. He then agrees to help her again and she makes a pass at him and the pair end up kissing and having sex. They begin a relationship in secret, although it is soon rumbled when they are caught in the salon by Nicola, Rodney and Kerry. When Andy is involved in a severe farming accident, Bernice tries her best to help him, but later reveals in a conversation with Chas that she finds herself irritating Andy. She is later horrified when she spots Andy and his ex-wife Katie kissing in the street. After drinking a bottle of wine, Bernice storms over to Katie and slaps her publicly, before descending into a catfight. As Chas and Finn Barton try and stop the fight, Katie slaps Bernice to try and stop her from attacking her. Bernice then grabs Finn's sausages and hits Katie with them, and when Andy arrives, she does the same to him. Bernice then humiliates Katie in front of Leyla Harding before leaving the village for Australia.
Bernice returns to the village a few weeks later and is determined to win Andy back. She is unaware, however, that Andy and Katie are now an item. When Bernice learns of this, she throws spaghetti carbonara over Katie before storming off. Whilst confiding in Nicola, one of Bernice's clients from the salon informs her that she would be perfect for a modelling job, which Bernice delightedly accepts. When Bernice arrives at the shoot, however, she is stunned to learn that she has to be naked for the job, as she thought she would be modelling clothes. When she arrives home, she tells Nicola that she turned the job down.
2016-2017: Destroyed relationship with Lawrence White
Bernice gets married to Lawrence White after being forgiven for kissing Andy. She then met a man named Ronnie Hale who told Bernice that he knew Lawrence. Ronnie revealed that he and Lawrence are ex-lovers, leaving Bernice to suspect that Lawrence might be cheating on her. Bernice believes that he is. Bernice rants at Lawrence, saying that should never have gotten married. Then Bernice goes on a drunken rampage. She climbs into a JCB digger and starts the engine. She pulls a switch for it to go, but starts reversing. She pulls another switch and starts driving. She drove the digger into The Mill, causing the building works to collapse. She spent a few days worrying about Lawrence and sent him text messages saying that she misses him. Bernice then kisses Andy while was in love with Chrissie Sugden who is her daughter-in-law. Lawrence returns from out of the blue, leaving Bernice and Chrissie surprised. After an unexpected fire at The Mill, which Nicola and Ronnie were involved. Bernice visits Nicola and Lawrence visits Ronnie. Lawrence congratulates Bernice when she is informed that Nicola could be getting discharged.
2018-2019: Relationship with Liam Cavanagh and departure
Bernice fell in love with Liam Cavanagh, and she asked to marry him during the Wild West Brawl in July 2019. However, that November, Bernice received some devastating news about her ex-husband Charlie, who had been involved in an accident and is in critical condition.
After some harsh words from Dee Dee, Bernice called off the wedding to Liam in order to help care for Charlie.
Bernice is tactless, selfish, spoilt, high maintenance and always manages to bag a wealthy man.
- Bernice is named after her mother Diane's pen pal from the 1960s.
- There is a recurring gag within the show that Bernice attracts primarily homosexual men. Her first and fourth husbands - Anthony Binns and Lawrence White - were both gay. At one point, Bernice was also engaged to Gavin Ferris, who slept with Jason Kirk. After discovering this, Bernice called off the engagement.
- When Bernice was having daughter Dee Dee she bit the Doctor.