Emmerdale: Claire King teases arrival of Kim Tate’s son James

The actress reveals if we'll meet her character's estranged offspring

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Kim Tate will return to Emmerdale next year as a regular character, ITV has confirmed, but what about the bad girl’s estranged son James?

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In tonight’s episode (Friday 12 October) Kim’s explosive return week was rounded off as she was carted back to prison to serve the last six months of her sentence having breached her bail conditions by driving without a licence. But shortly before she was incarcerated again, Kim tasked employee and lover Graham Foster with tracking down James – the first time his absence was addressed. So why wasn’t James part of Kim’s big comeback?

“They haven’t spoken for a while, so that’s why she’s asked Graham to try and find him,” Claire King tells RadioTimes.com, looking ahead to her full-time return in early 2019. “Back when she was first in the show there were very few things Kim genuinely loved – James was one. Dave Glover, her dead lover was another, along with gamekeeper Seth Armstrong and her horses! Beyond that she had total disrespect for anything and everyone!”

James would be around 22 now, and long-term fans may recall he was born into a ‘who’s the daddy’ plot with cuckolded husband Frank Tate and toy boy farmhand dishy Dave both believing they were the daddy – Frank was eventually revealed to be James’s father after several tests were demanded. He was last seen as a toddler escaping in a helicopter with his malicious mum – but what kind of a man has he grown into?

“He’s bound to be young, glamorous and gorgeous isn’t he?” speculates King. “They’re probably going to bring that kind of character in to replace Ned Porteous I imagine – he’s bound to be a good-looking young boy.”

Porteous bowed out of the show this week as Kim’s stepgrandson Joe, James’s half-uncle, was sensationally killed off, leaving jilted bride Debbie Dingle heartbroken. Could James potentially fill Joe’s shoes both as Home Farm hunk and Deb’s potential next love interest?

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“No, I think that’s a bit obvious,” Charley Webb, aka Debbie, tells us. “They’ll probably do it now I’ve said that! I guess it would be interesting but I don’t think she’d go near him after everything that’s happened with Kim turning up and destroying her life. To go for her son would just be stupid. Maybe she could turn the tables, strings him along only to dump him!”

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