|Samantha Giles talking to Nina Mysko
from The Mirror
SOAP star Samantha Giles is stunningly pretty. So it's no surprise
that the actress who plays Woolpack landlady Bernice in ITV's
Emmerdale was nominated for Sexiest Female Soap Star in last week's
It's sheer coincidence that things are hotting up for Bernice,
wife of vicar Ashley. She has just embarked on an affair with
Spanish lothario Carlos.
Samantha lives during the week in a flat in Leeds, and with her
husband Nick Moore an Orange executive, in Windsor, which is where
we met. Friendly and endearingly open, her sunny exterior balances
her more fragile nature.
Weight is a big thing with me. Oh God! I used to be about 13 stone.
Yeah, really No, really truly
I've got photos somewhere to prove it as well. I was a lot bigger.
I was really unhappy at university and I comfort ate. A lot of
And you never lose that self-image. It doesn't matter how slim
you get, you always see yourself as big. It never leaves you.
Even though most of the time now I think, "Yes, I'm fairly happy
with how I look", my weight still upsets me.
I got depressed watching bloody Bridget Jones's Diary, because
I thought she was slim. I seriously thought, "My God! She can't
possibly have put on two stone for this."
Sure she looked big in the bunny costume, when they lifted her
boobs up and everything, fleshy at the back. But her bottom and
her thighs, I thought, were slim. So I thought, "God. this is
terrible. People think she's fat. What must they think of me?"
And when I go to buy clothes I get depressed. I hate it. I'm 5ft
8ins, and even though I'm a size 12 now, and I probably was a
1.6 at my biggest, if I'm honest. I can still never get anything
I'm a pear shape. So I've always got the. you know. the bum and
the thighs. Look here! Look at this: I try not to be obsessive
about my bum, but I'd love a smaller bottom.
It's a very long bottom as well! Sheree - who plays'Tricia
- and I once stood behind the bar in Emmerdale. and measured ourselves
from the bottom. of the bottom to the waist. And mine is a lot
longer than hers.
What it means is that, you know all those low-waisted jeans? I
can't wear them. Because if' I bend over, I've literally got a
They're so low. It's terrible Sheree, by the way, has just had
a baby. She's really happy, very tired. Her figure's sprung back
I remember at junior school getting teased about my bottom. I
was the tallest person in the class and I had the biggest feet.
The biggest everything.I developed really
quickly. I didn't have any boobs, but I had everything else.
And when I was ten I weighed 7.5 stone. It doesn't sound a lot,
but I was heavier than all the boys.
I was the heaviest in the whole class. It was so embarrassing.
I can remember doing diets throughout my teenage years. 1500 calories
a day. A waste of time.
When I got to university I started comfort eating because I couldn't
make any friends. I didn't fit in I was at Bristol, did Drama
and English. They were either wacky, or up their own arses. It
was really lonely, and I just ate chocolate. Ate and ate.
But it's only when I left, after I got my degree. that I thought,
"My God. I feel a bit big."
And I weighed myself. I'd lost my appetite. because I went through
a · depression. and I didn't feel hungry. I
thought, "Maybe it's safer now to look at the scales." And I was
13 stone. I was shocked.
I But it came off really quickly because I wasn't eating. I didn't
have an eating . disorder, I could never be bulimic, but
it was a feeling of knots in my stomach.
If I ate something, I just felt full up. As if I couldn't eat.
I think it would be great now, just to have a week of not being
able to eat!
I got down to between 10 and l0.5 stone,and that's what I am now.
I try and eat when I'm hungry and not to be silly. I haven't weighed
myself since just before I got married last year. I was 10st 2lbs.
Happy with that.
I definitely feel more attractive now, · more confident, the last
few years. Ever since I've been with Nick.
He's responsible for a lot to do with how I feel. I'm calmer.
Because he actually loves my bottom! It makes me not hate it quite
as much as I did. And two weeks ago, I wore a bikini on holiday.
But I'll always see myself as big. You get your food attitudes
from your parents and definitely Mum has got some sort of food
She's notorious, always gives people massive portions. She's a
hairdresser, Dad's a fireman, and both are very creative. I've
got a younger sister. I had a very happy childhood growing up
in Maidenhead. Safe.
I'VE always been a bit of an attention-seeker,
a show-off. Ever since I was tiny. I suppose that's where the
acting came from. In my blood. But when I left university. I'd
lost a lot of confidence. I did a play at the Edinburgh festival
in '93, which was a real hit. but after that there was absolutely
nothing. I had one day's work in two years.
That's when the depression set in. I started cleaning and waitressing.
Then temping work.
I was having a lousy relationship with an alcoholic, although
I didn't know he was. And that was awful. We should never have
got together, but it lasted three years.
It was a real clinical depression. I wasn't getting up in the
morning, I wasn't wanting to wash. I couldn't even bear to talk
to people. I felt suicidal at times, I really did.
One day I was cleaning a flat above a restaurant, and they had
this lovely dog. The place was disgusting. and I was in the kitchen.
They had all these big knives. I would never have slit my wrists,
because I'm too cowardly. And squeamish.
But I remember sitting on the floor and looking at the knives
and having a little boo. And thinking, "I really could do something
to myself." And the dog came in and, you know how they know? Started
licking my hand and whimpering and that just snapped me out of
Then I did a Dangerfield and it was so good for me to get away
from him. and to work.I had a bit of a fling with one of the guys
on that, and I thought, "Christ! What the bloody hell have I been
doing all these years? "I wasn't brave enough to actually finish
it. It was such a cop-out. He read my diary and discovered I'd
been unfaithful. I wanted him to read it. I was so relieved when
he said. "What's this?" Such a relief! We split up and three days
after, I went out with Nick.
It was ever so quick. I met him when I was temping at Habitat.
That was three-and-a half-years ago. I changed agents. started
getting auditions. And a few months later, three years ago, I
I love it, its a great programme to work on. The people are fantastic.
When and if it does come to an end for me, it's going to be awful.
I love playing Bernice, especially the new big story.
The affair with Carlos, it's quite steamy. She's just fallen
totally in love with him. He's releasing a younger, more frivolous
side of her.
I'm so glad I met Nick before Emmerdale. He's not the sort to
go out with me just because I was on the telly, but if you are
and you don't have a partner, who do you trust`?
It must be a nightmare. He was a sales manager at Habitat, and
there was a definite twinkle.
He's tall, 6ft. very thin. he's got black hair, a big nose. I
like big noses. Very long artistic fingers, mid-blue eyes.
And one of his front teeth is chipped which
sounds awful, but is quite sexy. He's stubborn and he's funny,
we laugh a lot. Very practical, always has an answer. Grounds
me when I'm up in the air.
I knew I was going to marry him. Well, I knew I wanted to. Something
just went like that! It was ages. a year and a bit before he asked
I knew immediate~, even though he's got two boys. He was married
before, well divorced when we met. Ordinarily that would put me
off. But quite the reverse. He's 39, I'm 30 at the end of the
month. We got married last September
in Windsor. We definitely want children. Trying? That makes me
laugh that expression! Not at the moment. Although we are still
having sex regularly, you'll be happy to know!
I'm having a good time. I was very happy all my life until I got
to 18. And then for a long time it was awful. And then the last
three years it's gone back to how I remember life. Like when I
was growing up. Able to enjoy it.
It's a lot to do with Nick and a lot to do with the fact that
I'm doing a job that I really enjoy. It's about self esteem.
Looking back. I was in the wilderness for about eight years. It's
a long time, but some people go through their whole lives, don't
they? I could cry when I think about that.
But look at me now. Here I am. Happy. I get tired and a bit low
every now and again, but that's my personality. Prone to highs
and lows a little bit. But I'm a different girl now. Happy and
contented. That's me.
MY BIGGEST DOWNFALL
More than chocolate - I've got to be in the mood for that - It's
jam roly-poly! I could eat it any time it's absolutely delicious.
Sometimes they do it in the canteen at YTV, and Marks & Spencer
do a really nice one really nioe one. My gran used to make all
the stodgy puddings, and I still love them. But not with custard
or cream. Evaporated milk, it's sweeter than cream. I have been
known to eat spoonfuls in the middle of the night!
MY FAVOURITE DRINK
KIR Royale, a mixture of champagne, and creme de cassis. It's
lovely. I don't really like champagne straight. Too acidic. I
first had a Kir, made with white wine, when I went to France when
I was 16. I discovered the champagne version much later.
MY MEALTH REGIME
I take vitamin B6 PMT. Oh god, it's bad, really bad if I don't
take it. It lasts a week, ten days. Sometimes I get weepy and
feel really low, and other times I'm irritable and paranoid. Usually
if Nick and I have a big row you know that my period s about to
start. The last time I got so bloated, I felt like I'd put on
a stone. But it's not just on your stomach. Your legs, your face.
MY BIGGEST TREAT
MY obsession is salad cream. I don't like mayonnaise, it's too
creamy and gloopy. Salad cream is a bit more vinegary and probably
more common. I think mayonnaise is more sophisticated. I have
it on everything - on chips, on roast dinners, I don't like gravy.
Every food, except maybe a curry They were going to take it off
the market last year and I was devastated. If they had done, I'd
have written to Heinz.
MY EXERCISE REGIME
I go through phases. We went to St Lucia on holiday a month ago,
and before we went I did a bit of the Rosemary Conley Hip and
Thigh workout thing. But I get really bored. I went swimming yesterday
because on holiday I swam every day and I really felt it was toning
things. I like dance. I did ballrnom and latin American, exams
and everything when I was 17, so maybe I should Lake up dancing
again. I'd really love it.
MY CROWNING GLORY
MY hair is so thick, it can he a real pain. And when I dry it,
it's out to here. But I could never cut it off'. When I was 11,
my mum cut my hair really short. I'd always felt clumpy, being
tall, but that made me just feel so masculine. I was so convinced
at that age. Often I still do think I look like a man. I must
have been a man in a former life, or something