Emmerdale has aired the unexpected death of Joe Tate in a devastating twist, marking the departure of Ned Porteous after just over a year in the role.
The popular character’s shock exit was kept under wraps until tonight’s dramatic double bill (Thursday 11 October) when Joe returned to face wicked stepgrandmother Kim Tate who had forced him to flee the village having ordered his murder for double crossing her, leaving Joe with no choice but to jilt fiancee Debbie Dingle with no explanation.
Deb’s protective dad Cain punched Joe to the ground as he sneaked back to Home Farm but was stunned when Graham Foster declared him dead at the scene. Taking control, grave Graham told panicking Cain to disappear while he dealt with the situation, but as he loaded the body in the boot he saw Joe’s finger twitch into life… Viewers later saw Graham return to his car with a gun and a grave expression, having driven to a viaduct away from the village (the same viaduct of doom Emma Barton plunged from a year ago?) and broke down, having presumably finished the job Cain started.
Grim Graham is letting Cain believe he is a murderer, setting up an intriguing new dynamic between the pair as the Dingle dad struggles with his violent actions. But is this really the last we’ve seen of Joe? And how did Porteous keep his exit a secret? Let’s hear from the man himself…
Is Joe really dead and gone?
Yes. Joe took a serious wound to the head when Cain struck him to the ground and he appeared to be dead, up until that pinnacle moment when his finger twitched in the car – so that blow when he hit the rock didn’t actually kill him. However, Graham knew he had to get rid of Joe. It looks like he was the one that ultimately ended him but Cain still thinks he did it, but will Cain take the fall for it?
Was it hard keeping your exit a secret? Yes and no. Of course people are always stopping you and asking what is going on in your storyline, one of the main things about working on a show like this is that you are constantly keeping your storyline secret. I think it’s for the benefit of everyone and just becomes part of what you do, so it gets quite easy.
How did it feel filming your last scenes? Shooting all of this last bit to the story was tremendously exciting as there had been a lot of build up. I had a lot of time to prepare, but I just focused on the work and concentrated on producing some really good final scenes. I don’t suppose I’d really thought too much about the fact I was actually going to be leaving, and maybe I wasn’t quite emotionally ready – but everyone was so bloody lovely on my last day, it was a little emotional!
What are your plans now you’ve left Emmerdale? I want to move back to London but first I’m desperate to get out to America, I’ve got management there and want to try my hand with the American casting system and then have a little holiday, I haven’t had one in a very long time! I’ll turn my phone off, go climbing, go camping and go fishing.
Was it enjoyable playing Joe Tate, who started life as the mysterious Tom Waterhouse? I feel like I had a chance to play two characters on Emmerdale. Firstly, I had the Tom Waterhouse fake identity and then the big reveal of the pseudonym and turning out to be Joe. So yes, I suppose Joe managed to pack a lot of drama in during his short time in the village!
Did the cast give you good send-off? A few of them got me some really lovely thoughtful going away gifts, so I will be able to keep them forever and cherish them. That was really nice. There are so many people in the cast and grew I’m going to miss.
What was your highlight of your time on the show? I’ve got many, but I suppose the most memorable are the times we had the opportunity to do something so different, such as the quarry cliff stunt out at Chorley. That was two amazing days as it felt really unusual, we were away from normal Emmerdale and out on location. We were all staying together in a hotel and it felt like we were all on a sort of action-filled school trip! That was so much fun.
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