From an Otalia Wiki ...
As Olivia and Natalia's relationship grew deeper, the storyline garnered critical praise from the soap press for being a well-crafted and "superbly performed" storyline that is addressing lesbian relationships and internalized homophobia. Additionally, viewers invested in the Olivia and Natalia storyline and the couple became popular.
In October 2008, controversy in the media arose over the future development of Olivia and Natalia's relationship. Rumors surfaced that the two would develop into a lesbian relationship. Later that month, a CBS publicist stated that "this is not going to be a gay story line", but would be a "deep, rich, emotional relationship that will be very unusual for soaps." In her BuzzWorthy Radio interview conducted on February 27, 2009, Chappell provided insight into the "gay" controversy when she stated, "our intention from the very beginning was not to throw labels out there. It narrows the scope of what we could do. We just wanted to tell a love story." Since October 2008, the controversy has subsided because Olivia and Natalia's story has progressed enough toward romance that members of the media have considered them to be a budding lesbian couple.and SheWired.com, Nelson Branco of the Internet website TV Guide Canada refers to their relationship as "romantic love".
Samantha Giles (Bernice Blackstock) is leaving Emmerdale!
Such a shame. I like Bernice, and she's been criminally underused.