Emmerdale’s Dingle and Tate family trees explained

All you need to know about soaps' most complicated clans.

Emmerdale Dingle family tree

As Emmerdale celebrates their most famous characters in new documentary series Emmerdale Family Trees, here is RadioTimes.com‘s guide to two of the soap’s most iconic clans and the links between them – the downtrodden Dingles and the glamorous Tates.

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It’s going to get complicated. Very complicated.

CURRENT DINGLES

Zak Dingle (Steve Halliwell)

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First appearance: 1994

Original Patriarch Zak brought the first wave of his endless brood to the village back in 1994. As with many Dingles, explaining his relationship to the rest of the clan quickly gets complicated, as there’s always a long-lost family member waiting to emerge from the woodwork. So to summarise: he’s had three wives (Nellie, Lisa – twice – and Joanie, widowed twice by the last two), seven kids that we know of (one of which called Nathan, with Nellie, we’ve never seen) and is related in some way to everyone on this list.

Sam Dingle (James Hooton)

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First appearance: 1995

The second longest-serving Dingle is one of Zak’s five sons. The nice-but-dim farmer (the family’s stock-in trade) is the most harmless of the bunch and just wants a quiet life with wife Lydia and teenage son Sam, from his first marriage to the late Alice who he helped to die when she discovered she had terminal cancer.

Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock)

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First appearance: 1996

Zak’s sophisticated nephew has always slightly despaired of his family’s law-breaking, uncouth antics. Chef Marlon has a daughter April from his marriage to dead Donna, and a son Leo from his relationship with vet Rhona Goskirk. First wife Tricia was killed in a hurricane when she was buried under a collapsed Woolpack.

Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley)

Mandy Dingle Emmerdale

First appearance: 1995

Larger than life and always trying to make a quick buck, Mandy, Zak’s niece, was among one of the earliest Dingle divas. She left the regular cast in 2000 and made a comeback in 2019 with a teenage son Vinny, who it was later revealed she’d adopted after his dad, her ex, Paul walked out when he was four-years-old.

Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley)

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First appearance: 2000

Brooding bad boy Cain grew up thinking Zak was his uncle until discovering he was actually his dad, following a fling with flighty sister-in-law Faith. He’s softened his rough edges over the years but the moody mechanic is always embroiled in some kind of trauma. His on/off romance with cousin Charity resulted in daughter Debbie, he has three sons with three mums: Kyle with Amy Wyatt, Isaac with current wife Moira Dingle, and Nate Robinson, who he only knew existed after he tracked him down in 2019 and revealed Cain’s old flame Cara was pregnant when they split over 20 years before.

Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins)

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First appearance: 2000

Gold-digging minx Charity has done it all, but like kissing cousin Cain is more settled now compared to her early days on the show, when she was marrying a different millionaire every week and bedding half the village. She’s loved up with Vanessa Woodfield and happily running the Woolpack with cousin Chas, but let’s not forget her chequered past: married three times (the late Chris Tate, with whom she has a son Noah, Jai Sharma and the late Declan Macey), mum to her and Cain’s daughter Debbie and two other sons – Moses (with Ross Barton) and grown-up Ryan Stocks, who she abandoned at birth after falling pregnant from being raped in her teens by corrupt cop Mark Bails. Fun fact – Suranne Jones auditioned for the role shortly before joining Coronation Street.

Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper)

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First appearance: 1998

Born on Christmas Day, Tinkerbelle is Zak and Lisa’s daughter. She went from cute kid to traumatised teen when she accidentally killed best friend Gemma which sparked long-term mental health issues she still grapples with. Notoriously unlucky in love she’s dated serial killers and married man, including veterinary practice colleague Jamie Tate.

Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter)

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First appearance: 2002

Former stripper, one-time soldier, now pub landlady, tough-talking Chastity is Cain’s half sister (they have the same mother, Zak’s brother Shadrach is Chas’s dad), mum to grown-up son Aaron from her marriage to the late Gordon Livesy, and little girl Eve with current partner Paddy Kirk. She and Paddy had a baby called Grace who sadly lived for just a few hours. Chas was briefly married to Dan Spencer and had a tumultuous romances with killers Tom King and Cameron Murray.

Aaron Dingle (Danny Miller)

Aaron (Danny Miller) on Emmerdale

First appearance: 2003

Chas’s sensitive son appeared as a recurring guest played by Danny Webb until he was recast as Danny Miller in 2008 and became the definitive Aaron we know and love. Tormented for years by his sexuality, Aaron came out of the closet and married lover Robert Sugden (now in prison). He also bravely faced up to the abuse he suffered as a child from his evil dad Gordon, and has done time for GBH. He is legal guardian to his half-sister Liv Flaherty, from their shared dad’s second marriage.

Noah Dingle (Jack Downham)

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First appearance: 2004

Charity’s son with late first husband Chris Tate has certainly seen a lot of life, thanks to his mum’s wild past and numerous partners. But since Charity settled down with Vanessa he’s growing up into a pretty decent lad, all things considered.

Sarah Sugden (Katie Hill)

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First appearance: 2005

Born in a barn to a then-teenage mum Debbie and farmhand Andy Sugden, young Sarah’s troubled life has been dominated by ill health. Diagnosed with leukaemia when she was just six, her parents, who had never been a proper couple, had to conceive a saviour sibling so they could use his bone marrow to treat her. Years of chemo put pressure on her body and she had a heart transplant in 2018.

Samson Dingle (Sam Hall)

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First appearance: 2006

Simple Sam’s son had a tragic start in life as mum Alice died in 2006 when he was a newborn baby. The caring kid is growing up into a mini-me of his lovable dad, and was best at his wedding to step-mum Lydia in 2020.

Moira Dingle (Natalie J Robb)

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First appearance: 2009

Flirtatious farmer Moira married into the Dingles in 2014 when she tied the knot with Cain, who she cheated on first hubby John Barton with. John died leaving the way clear for Moira to embark on a tumultuous, on/off romance with the dashing Dingle. She had a fling with Cain’s long-lost son Nate, and got away with the murder of Emma Barton in 2017.

April Windsor-Dingle (Amelia Flanagan)

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First appearance: 2014

Marlon got a shock when ex-wife Donna returned to the village four years after their marriage with a daughter he didn’t know existed: Donna discovered she was pregnant when she left him but kept quiet, and only revealed the truth as she was dying of cancer and wanted April to be raised by her family after her death. Cheeky, irrepressible April is a Dingle diva in the making.

Liv Flaherty (Isobel Steele)

Liv Flaherty (Isobel Steele) on Emmerdale

First appearance: 2016

Aaron’s feisty kid sister Olivia found her world turned upside down when it emerged her dad Gordon sexually abused half-brother Aaron. Mum Sandra fled to Ireland leaving her daughter in her older sibling’s care, and the teenager was taken in as an honorary Dingle. Liv is a serious soul, wise beyond her years but lacking in self-confidence. She’s also struggled with health and sexual identity issues.

Lydia Dingle (Karen Blick)

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First appearance: 2016

Kooky cleaner Lydia won Sam Dingle’s heart and the pair got wed in 2020. Despite her eccentric exterior, Lydia has a tragic backstory: she grew up in care and had a stillborn baby daughter when she was a teenager, who she buried in the woods. Desperate to put the incident behind her she changed her name from Jenny Finn and started a new life under the name Lydia Hart. When she tracked down her birth family she learnt she may have the gene for degenerative condition Huntington’s disease.

Ryan Stocks (James Moore)

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First appearance: 2018

Charity’s long-lost son, the result of a sexual assault when she was groomed into teenage prostitution by corrupt cop Mark Bails, Ryan was abandoned by his terrified mum believing he had died shortly after the traumatic birth. Turns out he was adopted by the kindly midwife, and Ryan was reunited with his biological birth mum almost 30 years later and now lives in the village.

Vinny Ashdale (Bradley Johnson)

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First appearance: 2019

Raised by his dad Paul’s girlfriend Mandy Dingle from the age of four, when his debt-ridden father did a runner, Vin is another honorary Dingle who may not officially be blood related to the brood but is considered one of their own. The well-mannered lad is often at odds with Mandy over her moneymaking and law-breaking, but thinks of her as his mum – although his real mother is still out there somewhere.

Nate Robinson (Jurell Carter)

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First appearance: 2019

Mysterious stranger Nate rocked up at Butler’s Farm and seduced Moira, which turned out to be part of his grand plan to ruin the life of Cain Dingle – his long-lost dad. Cain’s romance with Nate’s mum Cara was cut short thanks to stepdad Shadrach’s racist views about having a mixed race grandchild. Cain never even knew Cara was pregnant, so it’s been a long journey for father and son to build any kind of relationship.

ABSENT DINGLES

Nellie Dingle (Sandra Gough/Maggie Tagney)

Appeared: 1995, 2000

Zak’s first wife and mother to Tina, Butch, Ben, Sam and Nathan (never seen on screen). They divorced in 1997, and she last appeared in 2000. She lives with another branch of Dingles in Ireland.

Tina Dingle (Jacqueline Pirie)

Tina Dingle Emmerdale

Appeared: 1994-1996

Zak and Nellie’s youngest, bad girl Tina schemed and seduced her way around the village. She faked a pregnancy and pretended to fall for heart-throb Luke McAllister to humiliate him after believing he was responsible for her brother Ben’s death. Tina left town after a fling with Frank Tate went sour.

Butch Dingle (Paul Loughran)

Appeared: 1994-2000

Gentle giant Butch was the most misunderstood of Zak and Nellie’s five offspring. He finally found love with mousy Emily Wylie but tragedy struck and he was injured in a van crash – him and Emily married while he was on his deathbed in hospital.

Ben Dingle (Steve Fury)

Appeared: 1994

The first Dingle on screen, Zak and Nellie’s son only briefly appeared before dying during a fight with local lad Luke McAllister. The clan blamed Luke for his death, propelling their first big story and reason for coming to the village, but it turned out to be a rare heart defect that killed him.

Lisa Dingle (Jane Cox)

Emmerdale Lisa Dingle (Jane Cox) Lisa to die

Appeared: 1998-2019

Zak nearly didn’t marry his second wife, and love of his life, as she almost got hitched to his brother Albert. But the pair tied the knot and became one of the soap’s most beloved partnerships for 20 years, having Belle (Lisa didn’t even know she was pregnant until she went into labour), splitting and getting back together. Lisa died of a terminal illness in 2019 hours after remarrying her hubby.

Shadrach Dingle (Andy Devine)

Appeared: 2000-2010

Zak’s alcoholic, layabout brother was a waste of space and a terrible dad to Chas and Cain (who he raised as his own, not knowing Zak was his real father). He had a secret love child, Gennie, with Brenda Walker. Shadrach died of liver failure after years of abusing his body with booze.

Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb)

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Appeared: 2002-2019 (temporarily absent)

Cain and Charity’s long-lost daughter tracked down her birth parents when she was in her teens, coming to the village as a foster kid for Paddy Kirk and ex-wife Emily (previously married to Butch Dingle) and the trio ended up forming a tight, if tumultuous, bond. Drama-magnet Debbie has been through the mill, had two kids with Andy Sugden (Sarah and Jack, conceived to a saviour sibling for his sick sister), romanced serial killer Cameron Murray, rich kid Joe Tate and bad boy Ross Barton, despite being married to his brother Pete. Deb is currently absent to accommodate Webb’s maternity leave.

Eli Dingle (Joseph Gilgun)

Appeared: 2006-2010

Marlon’s wayward brother led the well-behaved chef astray when he showed up fresh from prison. After two years of mischief and criminal activity, and a doomed romance with cousin Debbie, Eli left Emmerdale a virtual outcast after almost letting Sam take the blame for a robbery and assault.

Del Dingle (Hayley Tamaddon)

Appeared: 2005-2007

Appearing, Rachel from Friends style, in a wedding dress having jilted her fiancée, dynamic Delilah came to stay with uncle Zak (another of his endless nieces) and stayed for a few years. She was the 30th Dingle to be introduced on screen and had brief romances with killer Carl King, vet Paddy Kirk and heart-throb David Metcalfe, who incurred her wrath by cheating on her which eventually led to her departure.

Gennie Walker (Sian Reese-Williams)

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Appeared: 2008-2013

Shadrach’s grown-up love child Genesis tracked her birth family down, having been given up for adoption at birth and raised by Brenda Walker. Half-sister to Chas, sweet and slightly dippy Gennie married Nikhil Sharma and had a baby, Molly, but her life was cut tragically short when she was murdered by serial killer Cameron Murray after she found out he’d bumped off Carl King – and was bedding cousin Debbie behind Chas’s back.

Joanie Dingle (Denise Black)

Appeared: 2013-2017

The adoptive grandmother of Cain Dingle’s son Kyle during the time the little lad was brought up by another family, Joanie caught Zak Dingle’s eye and the pair had a fling that wrecked his marriage to Lisa. Joanie and Zak wed but it didn’t last as she knew he still loved his ex. She died of a heart attack just as Zak and Lisa found their way back to each other.

Faith Dingle (Gillian Jephcott, Sally Dexter)

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Appeared: 2000, 2004, 2017-2019

Cain and Chas’s errant mother had briefly appeared a few times before Dexter played her as a regular. Found sleeping rough in a barn, gin-soaked Faith had made herself skint after donating her stash of savings to great-granddaughter Sarah for life-saving medical treatment. Faith bravely revealed she had battled breast cancer in the years she’d been away from the family, and left after her part in concealing Cain’s long-lost son Nate from him emerged in 2019.

FORGOTTEN DINGLES

Obadiah Dingle (Paul Copley)

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Appeared: 2018

Charity Dingle sought out her estranged dad in 2018 when she revisited her painful past. Evil Obadiah chucked his daughter out onto the streets when she was just 13, and she ended up forced into being an underage sex worker then falling pregnant with son Ryan Stocks after being raped by corrupt cop Mark Bails.

Albert Dingle (Bobby Knutt)

Appeared: 1995-2004

The eldest of Zak’s seven siblings, conniving Albert is also Marlon and Eli’s dad. He unsuccessfully fought his brother for Lisa Clegg’s heart, and spent most of his life in and out of prison to the point of being virtually disowned by the other Dingles.

Ezra Dingle (John Henshaw)

Appeared: 1999

One of Zak’s brothers who made a handful of appearances in 1999. Married to Gwen and a dad to two kids, all unseen and unnamed.

Caleb Dingle (Mike Kelly)

Appeared: 2000

Another of Zak’s brothers, Mandy Dingle’s dad appeared once to try and mend the fractured relationship with his daughter.

Peg Dingle (Jeanne Hepple)

Appeared: 2002

Zak had a relationship with his battle-axe of a mother that could best be described as ‘difficult’. Mother and son clashed, and she only had a short spell living with the rest of the Dingles in the village back in 2002. She was last heard of living in Africa.

Jedediah Dingle (Richard Mayes)

Appeared: 2002

Zak’s estranged father walked out when he was eight years old. He was seen just once in 2002 when he came to the village to see his son shortly before his death – prior to that, Zak had spent his whole life thinking his father had passed away years before.

Lillith Dingle (Amanda Hennessy)

Appeared: 2004, 2006-2007

Delilah’s dodgy sister came to a family party in 2004 and left her four kids with the clan while she swanned off, something she did more than once over the next few years. Eventually she was done for armed robbery, but took off to Ireland with her brood once she was released from prison.

Luke Dingle (Dean McGonagle)

Appeared: 2004, 2006-2007

Eldest of flighty Lillith’s four children who briefly lived with cousin Marlon Dingle and then wife Donna during one of his mother’s many disappearing acts. Like his siblings, Luke suffered due to his unstable background, spending their lives in and out of care, and often lashed out.

Matthew Dingle (Cillian McCormack/Josh Chamberlain)

Appeared: 2004, 2006-2007

Another of Lillith’s children, twin brother of Mark.

Mark Dingle (Cormac Golden/Joe Manuel)

Appeared: 2004, 2006-2007

Another of Lillith’s children, twin brother of Matthew.

Jon Dingle (Lucy Webb)

Appeared: 2004, 2006-2007

Youngest of Lillith’s offspring and her only daughter, named Jon as her mother wanted to keep up the tradition of naming her quartet of kids after the apostles.

Solomon Dingle (Paul Shane)

Appeared: 2004

Zak’s cousin and greatest rival. Was in prison the same time as Sam Dingle. One of his brothers is Charity’s dad Obadiah.

Elvis Dingle (Martin Walsh)

Appeared: 2002-2004

Yet another cousin of Zak’s, who made recurring guest appearances for a few years in the early 2000s. Married to Marilyn, father to sons Brando and Daniel.

Marilyn Dingle (Morag Siller)

Appeared: 2002-2004

Elvis’s wife, who made recurring guest appearances for a few years in the early 2000s. Mum to sons Brando and Daniel.

CURRENT TATES

Kim Tate (Claire King)

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Emmerdale

First appearance: 1989

Gold-digging Kim was introduced as the second wife of wealthy businessman Frank. Constantly clashing with his grown-up kids Zoe and Chris, conniving Kim spent years trying to get her hands on the Tate family fortune and lied, schemed and swindled though her first eventful decade in the village. Famously fleeing in a helicopter with young son Jamie, from her fling with toy boy Dave Glover, and a load of cash she’d nicked, Kim was eventually jailed off screen and made a dramatic return to Home Farm upon her release in 2018. She was a suspect in the murder of ex-husband Graham Foster in 2020.

Jamie Tate (Alexander Lincoln)

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First appearance: 2019

The spawn of cruel Kim is a surprisingly mild-mannered young vet, probably because he spent much of his life estranged from his mean mother for her nasty nature to rub off on him. Having said that, Jamie became a love rat starting an affair with colleague Belle Dingle behind wife Andrea’s back. We first met Jamie when Kim orchestrated him to get a job in the village so they could reconnect, and he was joined by Ands and young daughter Millie.

Andrea Tate (Anna Nightingale)

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First appearance: 2019

Backstory tells us that glamorous Andrea was initially hired by Kim’s henchman, the late Graham Foster, to trick Jamie into marrying her as a way of keeping tabs on him for Kim. Andrea genuinely fell for Mr Tate, but later admitted to sleeping with Graham which briefly put the paternity of daughter Millie in doubt (don’t worry, a DNA test proved she was Jamie’s). She claims to have cleaned up her act from her days as a con artist, but her revenge on her cheating hubby showed she’s embracing the tyrannical Tate name.

ABSENT TATES

Frank Tate (Norman Bowler)

Appeared: 1989-1997

The all-powerful Tate patriarch was blinded by love for trophy wife Kim, his secretary who he’d had an affair with while first wife Jean was dying of cancer. That all changed when Kim revealed her money-grabbing true colours and the couple were at war for the best part of ten years. Kim faked her death and framed Frank for her murder, and when she miraculously returned her hubby had a heart attack and she watched as he died. She memorably checked he’d stopped breathing by holding a compact mirror to his airways, before checking her lippy and fleeing the scene.

Chris Tate (Peter Amory)

Appeared: 1989-2003

Posh bad boy Chris was the heir to the Tate throne which sparked a rivalry with step-mum Kim and numerous clashes with dad Frank. Paralysed after the 1993 plane crash, Chris became a bitter, twisted individual with an increasingly controlling nature that wrecked numerous romances including two marriages (Kathy Glover and Rachel Hughes, with whom he had a son, Joseph). He framed third wife Charity Dingle for his ‘murder’ after she cheated on him with Cain Dingle, by taking his own life upon learning he had an inoperable brain tumour. Him and Charity had a son, Noah, born shortly after he died.

Zoe Tate (Leah Bracknell)

Appeared: 1989-2005

The sophisticated vet was less volatile than her brother Chris, but a lifetime of trauma took its toll and she battled schizophrenia and alcoholism. Pioneering Zoe was Emmerdale’s first gay character and she and girlfriend Emma Nightingale shared the soap’s first lesbian kiss in 1995. The last of the original Tates standing into the 21st century, Zoe moved to New Zealand with daughter Jean, conceived in a hook-up with hunky Scott Windsor in the haze of a breakdown, and nephew Joseph, carefully timing a gas explosion at Home Farm as new owners the Kings moved in, fuelled by her rivalry with the clan.

Liam Hammond (Mark Powley)

Appeared: 1999

Frank’s secret illegitimate love child tracked down his half-siblings Chris and Zoe after their father’s death, and took them both hostage in a crazed act of revenge for being abandoned by the clan. Zoe shot Liam dead and she and Chris escaped.

Joe Tate (Ned Porteous)

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Appeared: 1995-2005, 2017-2018

Son of Chris (who died in 2003) and Rachel (who died in 1999), orphaned Joseph was raised by Aunt Zoe and taken to New Zealand when he was 10. Believing that floozy Charity Dingle ruined his dad’s life, grown-up Joe posed under the false identity of playboy tycoon Tom Waterhouse and seduced Charity’s daughter Debbie Dingle as part of a long game of revenge on Chris’s behalf against his former stepmum. Eventually revealing who he really was, Joe changed his mind having properly fallen for Debbie and the pair planned to run off together. Step-granny Kim ordered a hit on him for trying to take control of the family business and Cain Dingle thought he’d killed Joe when he collapsed after a fist fight. Turned out Graham Foster helped his step-grandson get away and the lad is now laying low in Monte Carlo.

Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough)

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Appeared: 2017-2020

Mysterious man in black Graham Foster was introduced as the manservant/butler/surrogate dad for Joe (or Tom, as he was originally), and was appointed by Zoe Tate as the boy’s legal guardian since childhood. His tragic, eventful past told us his pregnant first wife Cheryl died in a drink-driving accident he caused, and when Kim was reintroduced in 2018 it turned out he’d been working for her behind the scenes for years. Not only that but they had a marriage of convenience while she was banged up so he could protect her financial assets on the outside. Graham made numerous enemies in the village and his murder in 2020 sparked a huge whodunnit, with the culprit eventually unmasked as Pierce Harris, former husband of Graham’s lover Rhona Goskirk.

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