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"You're pulling a hand grenade. Once you pull the pin, don't hang about!".
~ Graham Foster

Graham Foster is a fictional character and recurring protagonist of the long-running British soap-opera Emmerdale. He appeared as an anti-hero in 2017-2018 before becoming one of the main protagonists in 2019-2020.

Originally, Graham was Joe Tate's right-hand man and legal guardian as well as his father figure. It was later revealed that Graham had a long-lasting relationship with Joe's villainous step-grandmother Kim Tate, whom Graham secretly married as her third husband.

He was played by Andrew Scarborough.

Personality

"I like living dangerously!".
~ Graham

As a former member of the British Army, Graham is one of the toughest characters featured in the show, being able to fight local hardman Cain Dingle, who for years was thought of as the most tough resident of Emmerdale, without too much bother.

Biography

Backstory

Graham had served in the British Army, participating in campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. The "work hard, play hard" attitude of the forces led him to develop a drinking problem. He later became part of the Navy SEALs. Graham met a woman named Cheryl whom he got pregnant. Although Graham didn't love Cheryl, he did the decent thing and married her. Around Cheryl's due date, Graham took leave so he could be at his daughter's birth. After dropping Cheryl off at her baby shower, Graham headed to the pub where he downed a bottle of whisky. Cheryl was used to Graham being drunk so didn't make a scene when he arrived to pick her up intoxicated. On the drive home, Graham lost control of the car on a bend and flipped the car, killing both Cheryl and his unborn child.

Following the death of his wife and unborn daughter, Graham was discharged from the army and got a job as a school groundsman. Although he was drunk most of the time, Graham managed to hold on to his job as the headteacher was too embarrassed to sack him due to his background in the forces. It was at the school where Graham developed a close relationship with troubled teenager Joe Tate. Joe's aunt and guardian, Zoe Tate, even made Graham Joe's guardian to prevent Joe from being expelled. One night Graham set his groundsman's hunt on fire with himself inside. Joe found him and pulled him out. After the fire, Graham ditched the booze and started working for Joe.

Life in the village

In September 2017, he met Charity Dingle and Debbie at a hotel in a bid to keep their luxury car hire firm afloat. Debbie wasn't happy with Charity's presence in the meeting and got her thrown out of the hotel. With Charity gone, Debbie showed Graham some figures, which Graham thought was a good deal but had to run them past his employer. Later, when Debbie went to show Graham the car, it had been taken from the car park. Debbie concluded Charity had taken it when she left and told Graham she would sort things and get back in touch.

After Joe revealed himself, Debbie trusted him less until Graham helped Debbie and Joe get back together. Months later, Joe had to go on the run after his step-grandmother Kim, who had just returned after being released from prison, wanted Graham to kill him, he left with £100,000. Furious about what Joe did to Debbie, Cain punched Joe which caused Joe to fall and hit his head off a rock, and it was believed that Graham later finished the job to avoid Kim from hiring someone else to give him a more painful death.

Kim returned to Home Farm after she was re-released from prison and found out that it was Cain who "killed" Joe. Kim met with an associate to find out who was making withdrawals from an offshore account and discovered through CCTV pictures that Joe was alive and had been taking money out from the account in Monte Carlo. Kim confronted Graham about this, and he revealed that Joe is no longer in Monte Carlo as he moved him on.

In July 2019, with Kim having uncovered Jamie’s secret plan to trick her into signing over her share of the vets to him, she was furious and sent Graham over to destroy Jamie's colleague Rhona’s career by coming down hard on the vet surgery. But as Rhona defied Graham and locked them both in, they had no option but to engage in conversation.

As Rhona pressed Graham as to why he always does Kim’s bidding, he admitted that it was complicated but eventually told her about him having to keep tabs on Jamie while he was in prison. He then bared more of his soul by delving into what happened when he got behind the wheel of a car drunk and killed his wife Cheryl. As Rhona and Graham developed a new understanding of one another, Rhona reminded him that his life was too short to be ruled by someone selfish like Kim – and she suggested to him that he breaks free of her and joins up with Joe wherever he is. In response, Graham didn’t follow through with Kim’s orders. Meanwhile, Kim once again appeared to be having a moment of conscience and determined to keep him in her life, she assured him that he could have her share of the vets with no strings and there’d be no consequences for Rhona or the other vets, Vanessa and Paddy.

Graham and Rhona later began a relationship, which Kim later became aware of. Despite her threats, Graham refused to allow himself to be controlled by Kim any longer, telling her that if she went near Rhona, he would kill her. Graham then left the scene, and Kim broke down in tears. It was later revealed that Graham might be the father of Millie. Kim decided to do a DNA test to reveal the true identity of Millie's father. Eventually, Graham did his own DNA test via strands of Millie's hair, but it turned out Jamie was the biological father. Despite this, on Christmas Day Graham marched up to Home Farm and announced that he and Andrea were past lovers in front of Jamie, who was devastated. More and more people started to turn against Graham. On 20 December, he found Joe's brother Noah with drugs and failed to tell his mother, Charity Dingle of the incident before it was too late and he had an overdose. He also insulted her mothering skills and kept in contact with Noah despite her warnings.  

Meanwhile, the feud with the Tates continued as Andrea and Jamie's marriage was falling apart and Jamie turned against Kim. He also managed to get on the wrong side of Rhona's ex Marlon Dingle who was unhappy with Graham's presence in his and Rhona's son Leo's life. Things got worse when Rhona and Graham decided to leave the village for France and take Leo with them. Marlon was furious and they decided to call off their plans, however, after Rhona quit her job at the vets, they decided to return to their original plans but this time kept everyone in the dark. 

Death and legacy

On 20 January, Kim found out that Graham had took thousands of pounds from her account, so she told Al Chapman to kill Graham. Later on, Al discovers Graham's dead body, and tells Kim the job is done. However, the person actually responsible for Graham's death is none other than Rhona's ex-husband Pierce Harris, who was recently paroled from prison after serving time inside for raping Rhona prior to Graham's arrival in the village. Eventually, Rhona would uncover the truth and have Pierce arrested for Graham's murder. She and Kim then each bid Graham goodbye at his funeral.

Quotes

2A soulless husk of a man, going through life desperately trying to feel something, because you know, deep down, that you're completely unworthy...and unlovable!".
~ Graham giving Joe Tate a lecture.
"For the record, I never really loved you. You're impossible to love!".
~ Graham arguing with Kim Tate.
"To the very worst wife a man could ever have, and... to the best lover!".
~ Graham exposing his one-night stand with Kim's daughter-in-law Andrea on Christmas Day 2019.

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Trivia

  • One of Graham's hobbies is making model aircraft, according to Episode 8142. According to Joe, it keeps him 'zen' at the end of the day.
  • Since Graham Foster was introduced, several fans of Emmerdale have come up with theories about who he really is. One theory was that due to having the same first name, that Foster was really Graham Clark, who killed Joe Tate's mother Rachel in 1999, and that Clark survived the car rolling down the cliff the following year in February 2000. Actor Andrew Scarborough denied this, saying Graham is a common name.
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