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"You could've had the world, but you'll get nothing from me Anna - NOTHING! I'll disinherit you just as if you never existed, so let's see on how keen your fiancé is at marrying you now!".
~ Donald threateningly tells his daughter Anna that he'll disown her for planning to marry their business rival Matthew King.

Donald De Souza is a fictional character and major antagonist of the long-running British soap opera Emmerdale. He appeared as a supporting character in 2007 and the central antagonist in 2008, as well as a mentioned character in January 2009.

Originally introduced as the divorced spouse of villainess Nicola Blackstock in 2007, Donald is a wealthy businessman and the founder and CEO of De Souza Enterprise who was good friends with Nicola's father Rodney. In 2008 Donald embarked on a business feud against Rodney's boss Matthew King and tricked the latter's brother Carl King into working for him. When his children arrive, Donald is gradually revealed to be less than fatherly and more concerned on his business - which ultimately leads to his untimely demise.

He is portrayed by Michael Jayston.


Donald De Souza first came to Emmerdale in 2007 following the breakdown of his marriage with Nicola Blackstock. It soon became apparent to Donald that Nicola sought to eliminate him for his inheritance and control of his business De Souza Enterprises. He soon gives her the opportunity to do so at the cliff and even plans to kill himself, but Nicola rescues him at the last second. At the same time, Donald gets reacquainted with Nicola's father Rodney Blackstock - also his old friend - and learns that he works for a rival business company known as "King & Sons".

Soon enough, Donald begins a conflict against the King Brothers - particularly with their leader Matthew King as well as his older brother Jimmy. He soon exploits Matthew's brotherly feud with his younger brother Carl by manipulating the latter into working for him. This works successfully and Donald begins to take advantage of Carl and Matthew's feud in order to not just turn Carl against his brothers, but to also use Carl's loyalty as a way of invoking setbacks against King & Sons to the point where De Souza Enterprises win it all. In May 2008, Matthew is able to sabotage Carl and Donald's efforts by blackmailing Carl's fiancée Lexi King into conspiring against him. This works and when Carl finds out, he allows Donald to sack Lexi for her betrayal.

A few months later, Donald is reacquainted with his daughter Anna and the two have a troubling reunion. It soon becomes clear that Donald is less than fatherly to both Anna and his son Miles, before more of their boss as in business matters rather than that of a father and his children. Donald also disregards Miles' alcoholic problem and when he later departs the village, he insists to Anna on making no effort to locate Miles by stating that he has made his own choice in his own life.

Eventually, Donald learns that Anna has been growing romantically close with Matthew. At first he is outraged, but then decides to use this to his advantage by getting Anna to forge a partnership with Matthew in order to achieve his campaign against King & Sons. This partly works in Donald's favor, but at the same time Anna falls in love with Matthew and they get engaged. Donald grows aggravated by this matter and attempts to end their relationship. He also eventually betrays Carl by sacking him, which shocks Carl as he thought Donald had been more of a father to him than his own dad - Tom King.

When Anna refuses to end her engagement to Matthew for her father, Donald tries to bribe Matthew and even threatens to make a phone call that would effectively destroy King & Sons. Matthew calls Donald's bluff and states that Anna means more to the King Family than her father could possibly know. In response, Donald calls a board meeting without Anna and makes plans to bring Matthew down. He then confronts Anna during her engagement party, begins stirring up trouble, and declares that he will disinherit her for defying him - prompting Anna to order her father to leave. Donald does so, but Matthew later confronts him at his own home for upsetting Anna. They argue and Donald has a heart attack, another one due to his poor heart condition. Matthew takes away his medication and, ignoring Donald's pleas for help, demands for him to put Anna back in his will so that she could be happy. Donald then begs for an ambulance as Matthew angrily shuns him down for making Anna hate him, shortly before Donald then dies as he fatally collapses to the ground.

Following Donald's death, Matthew covers up his involvement and comforts Anna when she learns the tragedy the following day. At Donald's funeral the Kings learn that have gone bankrupt, but Matthew and Anna plan to get married anyways. Unfortunately, Carl learns about Matthew's role in Donald's death and exposes it on their wedding day after suspecting Matthew of betraying him and Jimmy. As a result, Anna leaves and doesn't witness Matthew and Carl having a brutal fight; Matthew then gets killed attempting to kill Carl, but not before Anna gets in the way. After Matthew's death, Jimmy tells Anna that Matthew never meant for Donald to die and only wanted to make him have peace with his daughter for her sake. At Matthew's funeral, Anna leaves and whatever remains of Donald's legacy and company is quashed for good.


  • He was born on 8th July 1933.
  • Donald De Souza made a total of 105 appearances throughout his time on the show.