Chris Tate

Chris Tate
Chris Tate.jpg
Emmerdale character
Portrayed by Peter Amory
Introduced by Stuart Doughty
Duration 1989–2003
First appearance 14 November 1989
Last appearance 18 September 2003
Classification Former; regular
Date of birth 11 December 1963
Date of death 17 September 2003
Occupation Businessman

Christopher Francis "Chris" Tate is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. He was played by Peter Amory.


Early storylines

Chris first appeared in November 1989 when his father Frank and stepmother Kim bought Home Farm. He was the managing director of his father's haulage firm. He originally had his own flat in Skipdale, but moved into Home Farm to be closer to his love interest Kathy Merrick.

Chris and Frank had a tense relationship, partly due to the death of Chris's mother, Jean, from cancer and Frank's remarriage to his secretary Kim, who was only a few years older than Chris. However, Chris did have a close relationship with his younger sister, Zoe. When Frank admitted he had helped Jean die when she was terminally ill, Chris initially accused Frank and Kim of plotting his mother's death. Chris was also unimpressed when Kim persuaded Frank to have an operation to reverse his vasectomy.

Marriage to Kathy

Chris and Kathy began dating and Chris wrote a song for Kathy to sing at a village concert, 'Just This Side of Love' (which was released as a single sung by Malandra Burrows). They briefly split up over Chris's gambling habits after he lost his motorbike in a poker match to Alan Turner. They got back together and married on 5 November 1991. The marriage began to break down a year later when Chris found out Kathy knew that Kim was having an affair with Neil Kincaid. In the row that followed, Chris nearly hit Kathy and later confided in Zoe that he was worried that he had inherited their father's temper. Chris also wanted children and Kathy didn't.

When Frank started drinking heavily again, Chris saw the opportunity to gain control of the business by buying Kim's shares. He mortgaged his and Kathy's cottage to do so, and Kathy only found out when Frank confronted her. As it turned out, Zoe joined forces with Frank to vote down Chris. Kathy, meanwhile, began an affair with Josh Lewis and planned to leave Chris.

The plane crash

On the night of the infamous plane crash of 1993, Chris spent the evening in Skipdale, unaware Kathy was planning to leave him that night. He was supposed to pick up Kathy and meet Zoe in the Woolpack but went straight to the pub and was there when it collapsed. Chris was trapped in the wreckage of the wine bar with his family thinking he was still in Skipdale. He was eventually discovered by Kathy's lover, Josh, and was dug out overnight. He suffered spinal injuries and was left paraplegic.

Chris was very bitter about being disabled and realised that Kathy was only with him out of duty. He formed a bond with Rachel Hughes, whose brother, Mark, died in the plane crash, and she began giving him swimming lessons. The friendship became an affair and Kathy found out when she saw them kissing on their third wedding anniversary. When Kathy found out Rachel was expecting Chris's child, she threw Chris out of his wheelchair.


Rachel went into labour prematurely after discovering that her stepfather Joe Sugden had died. She gave birth to a baby boy named Joseph Mark after her stepfather and brother. Chris and Rachel soon fell out with Frank over his interference with Joseph.

Chris and Rachel got married on 7 December 1995 with only Jack and Sarah Sugden as witnesses. The marriage lasted less than a year because of Chris's increasingly selfish and money-grabbing ways. Rachel later died, leaving Chris custody of Joseph.

Chris vs Kim

When Frank died of a heart attack in 1997. Chris was convinced that Kim had killed him. Kim admitted to Chris that she had watched his father die. When Chris tried to blackmail her into giving him custody of his half-brother James, Kim hit Chris over the head and tipped him out of his wheelchair, pouring whisky over him before escaping with James by helicopter.


In 1999, Chris was held hostage by an employee, Liam, who revealed that he was Frank's illegitimate son and Chris's half-brother. Chris eventually formed a bond with Liam and was upset when he was shot dead by Zoe 'rescuing' Chris

Charity and death

In 2001 Chris married for a third time, to prostitute Charity Dingle. However, Zoe didn't like Charity and told Charity it was because of her history, but it soon transpired that Zoe fancied Charity herself. She offered Charity money to leave Chris and Charity responded by kissing her. The two then famously had a lesbian affair, which lasted for several months. Charity became alarmed by Zoe's obsessive behaviour and tried to end the fling, but Zoe secretly recorded Charity confessing to the affair on tape and blackmailed her into signing a prenuptial agreement, so she would always have a hold over her. Charity then confessed all to Chris, and he surprised her by forgiving her and ripping up the prenup. He later forgave Zoe after she was diagonised with Schizophrenia.

In 2003 Chris discovered that Charity had had a baby when she was 13 and given it up adoption, after Emily and Paddy Kirk's 13 year old foster child Debbie Jones claimed she was Charity's daughter. He was shocked to discover that Debbie's father was Charity's cousin Cain Dingle. In later 2003 he threw Charity out after discovering that she had been having an affair with Cain. Learning that he had a brain tumour and only months to live, Chris began frittering away all his money to ensure Charity would be left with nothing. He said a tearful goodbye to Zoe and Joseph and then arranged a meeting with Charity where he poisoned himself in order to frame his wife for his murder. He died on the floor of Home Farm in the same spot where his father had died previously. His last word was 'whore'.

See also


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