Emmerdale‘s iconic bad girl Kim Tate is on her way back to wreak havoc at Home Farm with Claire King reprising her role in a special cameo next month, ITV has confirmed.
Since the character’s last appearance in January 1999 when she escaped justice in a helicopter, barely an interview with King has gone by without her being asked if her most famous creation would ever be resurrected. Now Kim is set to be the surprise guest at stepgrandson Joe’s masquerade ball in October, and we’re promised she has revenge in mind and unfinished business in the village she once ruled with her ruthless scheming.
But it’s been a very long time since her hey day, and only a handful of current cast would have had any dealings with cruel Kim, although her reputation means many of the locals would probably have heard of her.
With the Tate name restored at Home Farm thanks to Joe, this stands out as the obvious link to bring her back – but it’s still pretty tenuous. It’s mainly Dingle stalwarts such as Zak, Marlon and Sam who shared any screen time with her back in the 1990s, along with a handful of others such as Robert Sugden who was but a boy (and played by a different actor) in those days. So what could be the big story that finally reintroduces the toxic Tate after all this time?
Claiming the Tate fortune – with her son
Gold-digging Kim and older tycoon hubby Frank – head of the Tate fortune and Joe’s grandfather, who she callously watched die of a heart attack knowing she stood to inherit his cash – had a son called James, who would be in his early 20s by now. Last seen on his mean mummy’s lap as they made their famous escape in a chopper (Kim was wanted by the police at the time for a string of her many crimes), have mother and son been biding their time to seize the Tate family fortune from play boy Joe? This masquerade ball is all over Emmerdale’s social media so maybe they’ve got wind of it and decided it’s the perfect time to pop in and stake their claim? That would wipe the smug smile off cocky Joe’s face.
She’s the key to Graham’s shady past
Joe’s enigmatic manservant Graham Foster has been making secret calls to someone for weeks, updating them on Joe’s antics. Whoever is on the other end of that phone was not pleased he’d got engaged to Debbie Dingle. If Kim turns out to be the person Graham’s been dialling, could it turn out she’s somehow been in league with the troubled ex-soldier all along? What if Kim’s been using Graham all this time and their meeting at that posh boarding school was no accident, and the blonde bitch has had Mr Foster on the payroll for years purely to keep tabs on her relative so she could one day swan in and take the Tate assets for herself?
Buried treasure at Home Farm
This Home Farm masquerade ball is being seriously bigged up, so there must be a reason Kim chooses this particular occasion to make her return (and it’s not like Claire King hasn’t been asked before, surely). ITV’s official statement talks of ‘unfinished business’ and revenge, but as we’ve established only a few people would have a clue who she is 20 years on perhaps she left something behind in her old domicile? Is there buried treasure beneath the grounds of Emmerdale’s most revered residence that Kim’s come to reclaim? Maybe she’s got to blow the place up to unearth it?
Twisted fire starter
Reading between the lines of Emmerdale’s announcement, there are many references to something going off with an almighty bang. “It’s literally been a blast!” says King, “Kim Tate makes an explosive surprise comeback,” teases a spokesperson, “She’ll shake the very foundations of the village and leave a devastating trail of destruction in her wake,” exclaims producer Kate Brooks. Anyone else smelling a super soap week October stunt with Kim blowing something up? Probably the ball and all it’s guests?
Sarah’s secret heart donor
It’s bound to be big, but what if the show went leftfield and Kim’s comeback was actually a more emotional, heart-wrenching affair – literally? Perhaps Kim is actually dying, has heard about little Sarah Sugden’s plight thanks to Faith’s fundraising page and returns to her old stomping ground to offer the little girl her heart when she passes away. Wanting to atone for a sinful life of ruthless gold-digging and skulduggery, and knowing how important Sarah and Debbie are to young Joe, saving the child’s life it could be the iconic character’s rehabilitation ad final surprise… Oh, who are we kidding, she’s bound to go on some kind of mad, camp rampage of revenge. And we can’t wait…
Visit our dedicatedEmmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news