Chris Tate

Last updated

Chris Tate
Chris Tate.jpg
Chris in 1999
Emmerdale character
Portrayed by Peter Amory
First appearance14 November 1989
Last appearance18 September 2003
Introduced byStuart Doughty
Classification Former; regular
Occupation Businessman

Christopher Francis "Chris" Tate is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale , played by Peter Amory. The character made his first appearance on 14 November 1989, when he arrived in the village alongside the rest of the Tate family – his father Frank (Norman Bowler); stepmother Kim (Claire King); and younger sister Zoe (Leah Bracknell).


Initially a decent man, Chris was left permanently resentful of his life after a plane crash in 1993 left him paralysed from the waist down. His storylines on the show included his numerous feuds, including one with his father Frank; a longstanding rivalry with his stepmother Kim; and his marriages with local villager Kathy Glover (Malandra Burrows), her best-friend Rachel Hughes (Glenda McKay), and scheming businesswoman Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins). Towards the end of his story arc, Chris learned that he had an inoperable brain tumour and used this opportunity to get revenge on Charity for cheating on him with her cousin Cain (Jeff Hordley). After wasting all of his money to ensure that Charity would be left with nothing, Chris committed suicide to frame her for his "murder" — with the character making his final appearance on 18 September 2003 as a corpse following his death an episode earlier.


Chris is a shrewd businessman living in the shadow of his father, Frank. After [Frank's] death, Chris took over the Tate business and never lets anything or anyone get in his way. on Chris. [1]

Chris was initially portrayed as a decent man, but was left permanently resentful of his life after a plane crash in 1993 left him paralyzed from the waist down. [2] The character then became much more jaded and bitter, often using his intelligence and assets to exact revenge on those he perceived to have hurt him. Radio Times described Chris as a "wealthy bad boy" and "one of the most complex, conniving characters in Emmerdale history." [3]


Chris Tate first arrived at Emmerdale in November 1989 when his father Frank (Norman Bowler) and stepmother Kim bought Home Farm. He was the managing director of his father's haulage firm. He had owned a flat in Skipdale, but moved into Home Farm soon afterwards to be closer to love interest Kathy Merrick (Malandra Burrows). It quickly becomes clear that Chris has a tense relationship with father, partly due to the death of Chris's mother Jean following her death from cancer five years ago. Another reason is because of Frank's remarriage to his secretary Kim, who was only a few years older than Chris and had been having an affair with Frank whilst Jean was ill. Despite the turbulence between father and son, Chris was close to his younger sister Zoe. When Frank admitted he had helped Jean die when she was terminally ill, Chris initially accused Frank and Kim of plotting his mother's death. Chris was also unimpressed when Kim persuaded Frank to have an operation to reverse his vasectomy.

Chris and Kathy eventually began dating and Chris wrote a song for Kathy to sing at a village concert, 'Just This Side of Love' (which was released as a single sung by Malandra Burrows). They briefly split up over Chris's gambling habits after he lost his motorbike in a poker match to Alan Turner (Richard Thorp), but reunite and marry on 5 November 1991. The marriage began to break down a year later when Chris found out Kathy knew that Kim was having an affair with village toff Rt. Hon. Neil Kincaid (Brian Deacon). In the row that follows, Chris nearly hit Kathy and later confides in Zoe that he is worried that he has inherited their father's temper. Chris also admitted that although he wanted children, Kathy didn't. When Frank relapses into his old alcoholism to the point where he starts drinking again, Chris sees an opportunity to gain control of the business by buying Kim's shares. His plan to do so involves mortgaging his and Kathy's cottage to do so. Kathy soon finds out about this when Frank discovers what his son has done and accuses Kathy of conspiring with Chris against him. To Chris' surprise, however, Zoe joined forces with Frank to vote down Chris. Kathy, unhappy with his actions, begins an affair with American wine merchant Josh Lewis (Peter Warnock), and plans to leave Chris by the end on 1993.

On 30 December 1993, Chris spent the evening in Skipdale with a friend - unaware Kathy was planning to leave him that night. He was supposed to pick up Kathy and meet Zoe in the Woolpack, but went straight to the pub and was there when a plane crashed into the village. Chris was trapped in the wreckage of the wine bar, with his family thinking he was still in Skipdale. He was eventually discovered by Josh, and was dug out overnight. He suffered spinal injuries and was left paraplegic.

Chris was very bitter about being disabled and realized that Kathy was only with him out of duty. He formed a bond with her best-friend-Rachel Hughes (Glenda McKay), whose brother, Mark, died in the plane crash and she began giving him swimming lessons. The friendship became an affair and Kathy found out when she saw them kissing on their third wedding anniversary. When Kathy found out Rachel was expecting Chris's child, she slapped Chris and threw him out of his wheelchair.

At somepoint, Rachel went into labor prematurely not long after discovering that her stepfather Joe Sugden (Frazer Hines) had died. She gave birth to a baby boy named "Joseph Mark" after her stepfather and brother. Chris helped Rachel raise their son and the pair started to fall out with Frank over his interference with Joseph. Later on 7th December 1995, Chris and Rachel got married - though Joe's brother Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) and his wife Sarah (Alyson Spiro) were the only attendees due to Frank's refusal to attend the ceremony. However, the marriage lasted in less than a year after Chris reverts back into his position in Frank's business to the point where he becomes just as money-ambitious as his father himself - much to Rachel's disapproval. They soon divorce after Chris indirectly causes Rachel to undergo financial problems and the pair end up squabbling over their rights to Joseph.

By then, Chris has become archenemies with his stepmother Kim ever since the Plane Crash aftermath. This continues to the stage where Frank divorces Kim after her affair with Kathy's new fiancé, Dave Glover (Ian Kelsey), is exposed. Dave soon dies after rescuing Kim's infant son James from a fire at Home Farm on Christmas 1996. In the new year, Kim loses everything when Frank is revealed to be James' father - not Dave as she had hoped - and she soon leaves the village under mysterious circumstances. When it later becomes apparent that Kim has died after her car and a body was identified to be her in the quarry, Chris relishes in her supposed death. However, he is left outraged when Frank gets arrested and imprisoned under the circumstances behind Kim's death. Chris also discovers that Kim has conned £350,000 in a business transaction between them and wishes he killed her for this.

In 1997, it is revealed that Kim is actually alive and had faked her death in order to get revenge on Frank by implicating him under the circumstances that his role behind her supposed disappearance has led to her death. She returns to the village to confront Frank and ultimately kills him after causing their argument to end with Frank having a fatal a heart attack; Kim watches Frank die without helping him. On the day of Frank's funeral, Chris and Zoe discover that Kim is alive. He speculates that she killed Frank and swears revenge on Kim for his death, especially when Kim later inherits everything in Frank's will. Their rivalry intensifies for a long period of time, even when it comes to the pair co-managing operations in both Frank's business in Tate Haulage and at Home Farm. Trouble emerges when Kim gets into a business partnership with a seemingly-legitimate aristocrat named Lord Alex Oakwell (Rupam Maxwell), who later turns out to be illegitimate when he causes the death of Zoe's best friend Linda Fowler (Tonicha Jeronimo) on the night Kim celebrates her engagement party with her would-be second husband Steve Marchant (Paul Opacic). Although Alex Oakwell is eventually killed for his actions a year later, thanks to Linda's brother Roy (Nicky Evans) seeking justice for his sister's murder, Linda's death has further instigated her family's resentment towards Chris over an earlier incident. A few months ago when Frank was still alive, Chris had sexually harassed Linda to the point where he tried to rape her one night. He later planned to have Linda and her husband Biff (Stuart Wade) evicted from the family house. However, when Linda's father Ned Glover (Johnny Leeze) learns about her ordeal, he furiously kidnaps Chris and attempts to kill him at the quarry - nearly doing so until Linda and Biff, along with her mother Jan (Roberta Kerr), talk him out of it.

In 1998, Chris is pleased to learn that Kim and Steve are planning to sell Home Farm due to their financial problems not long after the pair get married. He seeks the help from Alex Oakwell's former wife Tara Cockburn (Anna Brecon) in her partnership with the Tates to grant him ownership of Home Farm. This works successfully and Chris sends Kim and Steve packing as they move out of Home Farm. A few months later, Chris seeks his chance to get revenge on Kim for his father's death when both she and Steve end up facing a potential prison stint for stealing a horse from their business rival - which as a result got Kathy hospitalized. Steve was convicted to a 12 year prison sentence while Kim is set to face the same fate once her bail concludes. That night, Chris lures Kim into Home Farm for a confrontation as he attempts to bring Kim to justice for killing his father. When Chris tried to blackmail her into giving him custody of James, she hit Chris over the head and tipped him out of his wheelchair. Kim then confessed to Chris that she had watched his father die, before pouring whisky over him and then escaping the village with James by helicopter. This was the last time Kim and Chris ever crossed paths.

In 1999, Chris hires his lawyer Laura Johnstone (Louise Beattie) to help manage the events of his company's business operations. At one stage she helps him reclaim Home Farm from the attempted usurpation of ownership from illegitimate conman Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell) and his old lover Stella Jones (Stephanie Schonfield). Soon enough, Chris ends up alienating most of the village and motives are eventually questioned when he later goes missing. Unbeknownst to the villagers, Chris has been kidnapped and is held hostage by his recently new hires employee named Liam Hammond. The kidnapping lasts for a few months, during which Liam reveals himself to be Frank's long-lost son - thus making him Chris's half-brother. Chris gradually forms a bond with Liam and was upset when he was shot dead by Zoe after she got caught up in the same situation. That same year, Chris is distraught to learn that Rachel has died despite getting custody of James in the process; it later transpires that Rachel was murdered by her former boyfriend Graham Clark (Kevin Pallister), who previously killed his old spouse before proceeding to embark on a relationship with Kathy - only for his crimes to be exposed before Graham is eventually killed himself. Chris would help Kathy nurse through her ordeal with Graham.

In 2000, Chris faces another major crisis when one of his lorry trucks ends up colliding onto a village bus - thus causing a devastating road collusion which leaves Kathy among several other residents critically injured. Kathy survives along with some residents, but four people end up being killed in the resulting Bus Crash - including local resident Butch Dingle (Paul Loughran and one of Chris' drivers named Pete. Despite the tragic circumstances in the Bus Crash, Chris opts to keep his business afloat even if it that means resorting to claiming negligence for his company's role in the accident. This is quickly opposed by Kathy and Zoe along with Chris' business partner Sean Reynolds (Stephen McGann). However, despite facing the potential of public backlash for thus, Chris adamantly stands by his decision - which in doing so instigates his feud with Butch's cousin and the village's would-be hardman, Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley). Their conflict first emerges after Chris causes disruption in a press statement regarding the accident, when he orders two of his henchman to target Butch's stepmother Lisa (Jane Cox) after she admits to her involvement in the Bus Crash. In response, Cain punches Chris in front of everyone.

In 2001, Chris embarks on a relationship with Cain's other cousin Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) - a former prostitutes - and they soon plan on getting married towards the end of the year. However, Zoe appears to dislike Charity and later tells her it was because of her history. Soon enough, though Zoe begins to fancy Charity herself and even offered her money to leave Chris. Tensions continue to rise between them when Charity responds by kissing her. Eventually, the pair begin a lesbian affair that would last for several months behind Chris' back. Charity became alarmed by Zoe's obsessive behaviour and tried to end the fling, but Zoe secretly recorded Charity confessing to the affair on tape and blackmailed her into signing a prenuptial agreement - so she would always have a hold over her. Charity then confessed all to Chris, and he surprised her by forgiving her and ripping up the prenup. The pair later got married despite opposition from both Cain and Zoe, while Cain's father and Lisa's husband Zak (Steve Halliwell) reluctantly accepts this - though not before he warns Chris about the consequences should he mess Charity about.

In 2002, Chris continues to dismiss Zoe's forgiveness for complicating things in his relationship with Charity. This soon changes, though, when Zoe ends up exhibiting signs of unstable behaviour and mental issues that culminates in her setting fire to the local church. Despite being rescued from the fire, Zoe gets sectioned in the process after being diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Chris supports Zoe through her ordeal and forgives her.

In 2003, Chris is shocked when Zoe gets pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl - whom she names Jean (Megan Pearson) in honor and Chris' late mother. He is later appalled to learn that Jean's father is wayward bad boy Scott Windsor (Ben Freeman) and furiously accuses him of raping Zoe due to her being a lesbian as well as the pair having a fling whilst she was undergoing issues with her condition. Wanting revenge, Chris begins a hate campaign against Scott. This involves Chris evicting Scott and his friends from his house, having his garage vandalized, increasing Scott's rent, and arranging for Scott's garage to be torched in an arson attack. Later on, he bribes a prostitute named Yolanda Howie (Charlotte Faber-Scott) to date Scott and then implicate him under false rape charges. This works successfully until Zoe eventually learns the extent of Chris' vendetta and, also discovering Scott never raped anyone to begin with, pays Yolanda to drop the charges.

By then, Chris' marriage has grown complicated and his feud with Cain has intensified. This is due to the revelation that Charity had a baby when she was 13 and given it up adoption, after a preteen schoolgirl named Debbie jones (Charley Webb) arrives in the village and claims that Debbie is her daughter. Not only is this true, but Debbie's father is revealed to Cain as well - even though Debbie had been earlier adopted by Butch's wife Emily (Kate McGregor) and her new husband Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) as the child's foster parents. When Chris learns about this, he grows increasingly paranoid with the thought that Charity would cheat on him with Cain and that their parenthood of Debbie would complicate things in the process. Chris soon orders his right-hand man Terry Woods (Billy Hartman) to spy on them. At first Terry realizes Chris' paranoia is getting out of hand, but this later turns up to be true when the pair end up catching Charity giving Cain a passionate kiss.

Chris' reaction to Charity's affair with Cain is partly sidetracked when his paranoia behaviour evokes a starting discovery - that he has inoperable brain tumor and only months to live. Chris later admits this to Zoe when she learns of Charity's betrayal, before requesting that neither she or Terry inform anyone about this. At the same time, Chris throws Charity out of Home Farm and plans to divorce her. He soon begins frittering away all his money to ensure Charity would be left with nothing. When his condition deteriorates, Chris plans to settle his score with Charity once and for all by inviting her to Home Farm for a chat. As he prepares himself for this, Chris bids a tearful goodbye to Zoe and Joseph before thanking Terry for standing by him at all costs. When Charity arrives, she desperately seeks to rebuild their marriage - but Chris makes it clear that he will never forgive her for cheating on him with Cain and proposes a morbid toast, to "The Death of their Marriage". When Chris drinks his champagne, he suddenly collapses onto the floor and dies in the same spot where his father had died six years previously; his last words to Charity was 'whore'.

Following Chris' death, Charity discovers his brain tumor before she ends up getting arrested on suspicion of his murder - as Chris had in fact poisoned his own drink in order to frame Charity for his death as revenge for her affair with Cain. In 2004, Charity is trialed for Chris' death and Zoe is determined to get her sent down for it. This initially becomes the case when Charity is found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment for Chris' death. Later on, Charity gives birth to a baby boy in prison and names the infant Noah (Alfie Mortimer); she soon alerts Zoe about this and urges her to do a DNA test, which soon confirms Noah's father to be Chris. Thereafter Charity forces Zoe to have her released from prison and drops the charges in exchange for selling her rights of Noah to Zoe. In doing so, Zoe has Charity released from prison.

Over a decade later in 2017, Chris' now-adulted son Joe (now Ned Porteous) appears in the village - first appearing to be a successful entrepreneur named "Tom Waterhouse" who begins dating Debbie. In 2018, he reveals his identity to Debbie when it transpires that he is seeking revenge against Charity for his father's death. [3] A few days later, Charity tells Noah (now Jack Downham) the truth of how Chris died and that he her for murder. A few months later, Kim returns to the village and is revealed to be the mastermind behind Joe's revenge against the Dingles. She mentions Chris on several occasions to the Dingles along with her third husband Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough), who has earlier been transpired to have helped raised Joseph ever since he partnered up with Zoe years after Chris' death.


Chris' on-screen death on 18 September 2003 was watched by 10.25 million viewers. [4] The character was nominated for Best Villain at the 2004 British Soap Awards. [5] In 2014, Huffington Post UK named Chris as one of the 15 soap opera villains "we love to hate the most". [6] He came in third in CBS Drama's 2018 list of the Top 5 Soap Opera Villains, with the author noting that: "Chris was originally a decent chap but after a plane crash rendered him paralysed from waist down he turned into a bitter person and even in his dying breaths whilst committing suicide he framed his wife for murder." [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

Zoe Tate Fictional character from Emmerdale

Zoe Tate is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Leah Bracknell. She made her first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 12 December 1989. Zoe was involved in many major storylines during her time on the soap, including the deaths of her father Frank and brother Chris, the betrayal and departure of her stepmother Kim, coming out as gay and a battle with schizophrenia. Zoe became the first lesbian character in a British soap opera when she came out in 1993. She departed on 22 September 2005.

Scott Windsor Fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale

Scott Windsor is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale. From 1993 to 1996, Scott was played by Toby Cockerell. In 1996, Scott left the village to join the army and when he returned in 1998, Ben Freeman took over the role and played Scott until early 2007.

Cain Dingle Fictional character from Emmerdale

Cain Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Jeff Hordley. Cain made his first appearance on 30 March 2000, and in 2006, he was written out of the series when Hordley left the soap; however, the option for a return was confirmed, which occurred when Hordley returned to the cast in February 2009. Cain's main storylines have focused on discovering his "uncle" Zak Dingle is his father; his relationship with his cousin Charity Dingle ; discovering he is Debbie's father; his affair and subsequent relationship with Moira Barton ; being attacked in a whodunit storyline where his assailant was eventually revealed to be his father; being diagnosed with a brain aneurysm; supporting his nephew Aaron Livesy after discovering Aaron was sexually abused by his father Gordon Livesy as a child; reuniting with his and Chas's mother Faith Dingle ; his relationship with local vicar Harriet Finch ; building up a relationship with his children; and being blackmailed by DI Malone to do drug runs for him.

Debbie Dingle Fictional character from Emmerdale

Debbie Dingle is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Charley Webb. Webb has taken maternity leave three times, with the first time being in 2010 before returning in 2011, and the second throughout 2016 with Debbie departing on 1 January 2016. She returned on 24 January 2017 and then went on maternity leave for a third time in 2019 as Debbie left for Scotland on 13 August 2019. She returned on 25 December 2020.

Charity Dingle Fictional character from Emmerdale

Charity Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Emma Atkins. Suranne Jones originally auditioned for the role of Charity, before Atkins was cast. The actress began filming her first scenes in February 2000, and she made her first screen appearance as Charity during the episode broadcast on 30 March 2000. Actress Mica Proctor played a young Charity in a flashback episode about the character's past, which aired on 29 May 2018.

Steve Marchant

Steve Marchant is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Paul Opacic. He made his first on-screen appearance on 26 March 1996. Opacic originally auditioned for the role of Sean Rossi, before he was cast as Steve for an initial six-episode stint, and was introduced as a former university friend of Rachel Hughes. Series producer Kieran Roberts decided to write the character out in 1998, and Opacic made his final appearance on 20 January 1999. Later that year, Steve was named one of "The 30 greatest Emmerdale residents" by Inside Soap.

Kim Tate Fictional character from Emmerdale

Kim Tate is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Claire King. The character was first introduced in December 1989 and originally left in January 1999. Kim returned for a brief stint from 8 to 12 October 2018, before returning permanently from 14 March 2019.

Storylines of Emmerdale, the British ITV soap opera, have spanned more than five decades, from the programme's inception in October 1972 until the present day. Emmerdale has covered a number of storylines that created dispute and debate in the media and caused public outcry from viewers. A viewer poll conducted in January 2021 found that the top three storylines/episodes voted by viewers were the Emmerdale plane crash of 1993, the Storm of 2003 that occurred on around the 10th anniversary of the plane crash, and the Hotten Bypass Crash in 2016. Some storylines are seen as having caused controversy amongst viewers and in the media due to the sudden sacking of an actor by the programme's producer, or as a result of a topic or theme that openly shocked viewers or was seen as taboo.

Kathy Glover

Katherine "Kathy" Brookman is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, played by Malandra Burrows. She made her first appearance during the episode broadcast on 26 November 1985. In 2001, new series producer Steve Frost decided to write the character out. Burrows briefly reprised the role in 2005, as Kathy returns for the funeral of Seth Armstrong. She was one of the show's central characters throughout that time.

Jai Sharma Fictional character from Emmerdale

Jai Sharma is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Chris Bisson. He made his first on-screen appearance on 11 September 2009, alongside his brother Nikhil. In 2013, Bisson temporarily departed Emmerdale on 24 January because of the birth of his child and returned at the end of March that year.

Declan Macey

Declan Macey is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Emmerdale, portrayed by Jason Merrells. He was introduced on 15 April 2010. The Emmerdale website has described the character by saying "Declan is a shrewd businessman who knows exactly what he wants and how to get it. He's prepared to be unpopular if it's good for business and the people in the village recognise his confidence. He does have a softer side but is not the most attentive husband in the world." In September 2014, Merrells confirmed he had left the show. Declan made his final appearance on 13 October 2014 after exposing the crimes that he committed with his wife, Charity Dingle ; she framed her cousin Sam and his girlfriend Rachel Breckle for starting a fire at Home Farm – which Declan was responsible for during his attempt to commit suicide after becoming on the verge of financial bankruptcy – before causing the events of Declan embarking on a monthly insurance fraud.

Ross Barton Fictional character from soap opera Emmerdale

Ross Barton is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera Emmerdale, portrayed by Michael Parr. He made his first appearance in episode 6600 of the soap, broadcast on 9 July 2013. Ross first appears as the carjacker of Laurel Thomas, before being revealed to be the nephew of Moira Barton. The character is initially characterised as a bad boy and a "nasty piece of work". The softer side of Ross' personality is explored when he enters a secret relationship with police officer Donna Windsor, who has terminal cancer. When Donna dies, Ross bonds with her daughter April Windsor.


  1. "Chris Tate". . Granada Media Group Limited. Archived from the original on 5 June 2002. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  2. 1 2 "Top 5 Soap Opera Villains!". CBS Drama. 16 April 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  3. 1 2 Hughes, Johnathon (4 January 2018). "Emmerdale: who is Joe Tate? Tom's true identity explained". Radio Times . Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  4. "Weekly top 30 programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. (No permanent link available. Search for relevant dates.)
  5. "British Soap Awards nominations". CBBC. 8 May 2004. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  6. "Soap Villains: The 15 Characters We Love To Hate, From Janine Butcher To Richard Hillman (VIDEO)". Huffington Post UK . 18 July 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2018.

General references