Tom King (James Chase) looked to be planning a quick exit out of Emmerdale village tonight (24th May), after hearing two massive bombshells about the past.


After another awkward encounter with his uncle Jimmy King (Nick Miles), things were already tense as Tom couldn't bear to hear about his late father, Carl (Tom Lister), who did such despicable things before he died.

But when Tom realised that Carl had also killed his grandad Tom Senior (Kenneth Farrington), he was even more troubled.

Then new girlfriend Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper) sat Tom down to tell him that their old friend Gemma was now dead, after Belle accidentally killed her as a teen. While Belle tried to explain how her mental health had suffered, Tom was too stunned to hear her out and he rushed off.

Jimmy hoped to put things right, and he and Belle approached Tom at The Woolpack. Although Tom couldn't fathom how Jimmy could defend Carl's actions, Jimmy told him that his grandad Tom's behaviour had been appalling before he died - he wasn't listening to anyone and had been responsible for a few deaths himself.

"When he died, he was the most hated man in the village," Jimmy explained, summing up one of the soap's infamous 'whodunnits'.

"Twelve different people were suspected of killing him, including me! I certainly hated him enough."

Tom was unmoved, knowing that this didn't change anything and he angrily urged Jimmy to admit that it was a good thing Carl was dead too. But Jimmy, whose way of coping with all the losses he's endured is to hold their memories close, was furious over his nephew's words.

Belle intervened as the two men squared up, and Jimmy ended up explaining that the situation with Tom Senior was what turned Carl bad. Tom ordered Jimmy to back off before he made him, as he didn't want to understand any of it.

More like this

When Jimmy suggested Tom left the village again, Tom agreed that this was best, and blamed Jimmy when Belle walked away in disgust.

At home, Jimmy's wife Nicola (Nicola Wheeler) advised him to let Tom accept the past in his own time, and urged him to focus on her and their kids instead of dwelling on what's already happened.

Meanwhile, Belle was saddened that her relationship with Tom had imploded, and missed the warmth and comfort of her late mum Lisa (Jane Cox).

Meeting with Tom, though, Belle couldn't get past his initial reaction when he claimed that he had come to terms with her revelation, and she broke up with him. Will Tom walk away?

While we wait to find out, let's delve into the story that Jimmy started, exploring exactly what happened when his dad Tom was murdered...

James Chase as Tom King and Nick Miles as Jimmy King in Emmerdale
James Chase as Tom King and Nick Miles as Jimmy King. ITV

Why was Tom King (Senior) killed in Emmerdale?

The father of Jimmy, Carl, Matthew (Matt Healy) and Max (Charlie Kemp), Tom was a domineering father who expected certain standards from his sons. He ensured that Max stuck around by paying Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) to give him a job as a vet, but Max couldn't cope with Tom's behaviour and plotted to flee the village, only to end up being killed in a car explosion.

Although Tom was heartbroken, this didn't stop him from continuing to dictate his family's lives. He later planned the development of some new local houses, naming the project King's River - but the pressure Tom put on Jimmy led to him cutting corners, and a gas explosion killed Dawn Woods (Julia Mallam) and two other residents.

In financial trouble, Tom became engaged to the wealthy Rosemary Sinclair (Linda Thorson). But in the lead up to their wedding, Tom's relationships with his sons, and several other locals, crumbled. He sabotaged Carl's initial romance with Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter), blackmailed Edna Birch (Shirley Stelfox) and was subsequently threatened by Len Reynolds (Peter Martin).

Tom also angered Dawn's dad Bob Hope (Tony Audenshaw) by failing to accept responsibility for her death; something Bob's son Jamie (Alex Carter) was also furious over. Terry Woods (Billy Hartman) hated Tom for offering compensation, which led Dawn's mum Jean Hope (Susan Penhaligon) to take the money and flee with Dawn and Terry's son TJ.

Bob tried to attack Tom on his Christmas Day wedding in 2006, and Terry also lashed out at the groom. Jimmy was fed up with Tom putting him last and Matthew believed their dad would leave everything to Rosemary, and a fight ensued.

Chas then announced that Tom had bribed her into dumping Carl, and issued Tom with a threat. During the reception, Rosemary was later shocked to hear that she would not be inheriting Tom's estate.

As a firework display began, Tom suddenly fell through a window as Home Farm, landing on the ground in front of the guests and being pronounced dead. It wasn't until months later, with the long list of suspects keeping us guessing, that we learned Carl had murdered Tom because of what happened with Chas.

Carl remained in the village until 2012, and after attempting to assault Chas, he was murdered by serial killer Cameron Murray (Dominic Power) in a live instalment, shortly after declaring himself "indestructible" in one of Emmerdale's most memorable scenes.

Read more:

Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV1. Catch up on ITVX. Check out more of our Soaps coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.