She’s back! Emmerdale confirms Claire King’s return as Kim Tate

The iconic superbitch makes her first appearance in nearly 20 years

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Emmerdale has announced Kim Tate is returning to the village, almost two decades after she took off in a helicopter escaping punishment for a catalogue of crimes that made her one of the most iconic villains in British soap history.

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Claire King will reprise her famous role for a cameo next month, when conniving Kim rocks up at her old kingdom of Home Farm as a surprise guest at stepgrandson Joe Tate’s masquerade ball. Vengeful Kim has unfinished business in the village and there are several characters in her sights as she goes on the warpath.

“As a Yorkshire lass I’m thrilled to be back home for a fun-filled cameo, once again causing havoc in the Dales!” says King, speaking about her much-anticipated comeback. “There are still some familiar faces from 20 years ago and I couldn’t have had a more lovely welcome from such a talented cast and crew – so thank you everyone! It’s literally been a blast…”

Producer Kate Brooks said: “Kim Tate is a hurricane of a character and her explosive return shakes the very foundations of the village as she swaggers back into Home Farm, leaving devastating trail of destruction in her wake.

“We are delighted to welcome Claire back to the show, she exudes charisma and ebullience. It is testament to Claire’s immense talent that her portrayal of such an iconic soap villain is so convincing. We are all thrilled she’s filling Kim’s designer shoes again!”

Speculation has been rife a big-name return was on the cards following Emmerdale’s recent teaser trailer for the masquerade ball, showing a face hidden behind a mask with the tag line: ‘And so it begins…’ And with Joe Tate’s employee Graham Foster’s string of secret phone calls updating someone on Joe’s antics, some fans have already predicted Kim could be on her way back.

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Kim made her debut in 1989 as the glamorous second wife of self-made businessman Frank Tate, and soon clashed with his grown-up offspring Chris and Zoe who accused her of being a callous gold-digger – and they were right. Over the next ten years ruthless Kim rampaged through scheme after scheme, attempting various murders, faking her own death, lying, cheating, stealing, scamming, manipulating, and famously watched her rich husband die knowing she stood to inherit his fortune.

In January 1999, Kim made one of the most memorable departures in soap history when she tried to kill stepson Chris Tate after confessing to her part in Frank’s death, then escaped out of the village in a helicopter and went on the run – she was wanted by police at the time for an involvement in a hit and run – with her and Frank’s two-year-old son James. In 2005 she sent flowers for old pal Seth Armstrong’s funeral, and was said to be living in Ireland.

Playing Kim launched a successful career for King, who also starred in ITV’s prison drama Bad Girls as well as soap stablemate Coronation Street as Erica Holroyd, and appeared in reality shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Big Brother. She was also a panellist on daytime talk show Loose Women.

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