The old feud between the Sugdens and the Tates has been reignited in Emmerdale recently with Robert and Joe clashing over a scuppered business deal.
Joe is currently heavily embroiled in a rivalry with the Dingles as he blackmails ex-lover Debbie over her involvement in the acid attack on Ross Barton meant for the Tate tycoon, but in the coming weeks it’s his beef with fellow arrogant entrepreneur Robert Sugden that could prove his undoing.
Fans are excited to see if Rob can take the tyrannical Tate down, and Ryan Hawley can’t wait to let battle commence for his alter ego. “It’s always nice when new people come into the show, it refreshes things and tests the characters,” he says, “and you wonder ‘who would win in a fight between those two’ and that sort of thing.
“We’ve been working with Ned Porteous (Joe) for a couple of weeks. It’s exciting to have a new relationship with someone else. And Ned’s a nice guy, he’s fitted in well and was already in our dressing room!”
Cocky, conniving, materialistic – there’s more than a few similarities between the alpha males of the dales, as Hawley wryly notes. “One of our directors said Joe Tate is kind of like the new, improved, younger, better-looking version of Robert! That’s nice…
“Being a father to Seb, reuniting with Aaron and having all this responsibility on his shoulders brought out Robert’s vulnerability, but the rivalry with Joe means the wicked streak is still there which I’m glad about. It’s nice for me as an actor to have these different facets to the character.”
Joe is biding his time as he digs for dirt on Robert after the sneaky Sugden lost him a valuable client recently. And seeing as that little squabble started because of smoke coming from the scrapyard and wafting over to Home Farm, how long until the fellas’ feud explodes into all-out war?
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.
And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news