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"On the contrary I was very fair with her. The only interest she had for my brother, was his money! She knew she had to kill him before he got round to divorcing her!".
~ Zoe falsely claims in court that her brother Chris Tate was murdered by his ex-wife Charity Dingle under the pretense that she wanted him dead for his inheritance.

Zoe Tate is a fictional character and recurring protagonist of the British soap opera Emmerdale. She debuted in December 1989 and became one of the show's central protagonists up until her exit in late September 2005.

She was portrayed by the late Leah Bracknell.

History

Zoe Tate first came to Emmerdale in 1989 along with her brother Chris Tate, their father Frank Tate, and Frank's wife Kim Tate.

Over the next decade, Zoe settles with her family at Home Farm and is often considered to be Frank's favorite child due to him coping and supporting her personal matters rather than that of Chris' sordid situations. At one point, Zoe comes out as gay and Frank gradually copes with this before supporting her through the matter. She also clashes with Kim over her agenda against Frank.

Later on in 1997, Zoe is devastated when Frank dies of a heart attack and finds herself caught up in Kim and Chris' longstanding rivalry. That same year, her best-friend and vet colleague Linda Fowler is killed in a car crash caused by Kim's old business partner Lord Alex Oakwell. In 1998, Zoe is manipulated by Kim into believing that her second husband Steve Marchant is the sole mastermind behind their criminal activities. She argues with Chris about Kim's innocence, but eventually realizes the truth after Kim escapes the village with her and Frank's son James - though not before admitting to Chris that she had killed Frank back in 1997.

In 1999, Zoe's relationship with Chris is strained and she later gets worried when he goes missing. Zoe finds out that Chris has been kidnapped by his employee Liam Hammond, who is revealed to be their half-brother. Zoe disbelieves this and fakes an argument with Chris before disarming Liam and snatching his gun for him. Shortly afterwards, Zoe shoots Liam dead and gradually copes with the aftermath of the ordeal.

In the 2000s, Zoe is unhappy when Chris marries prostitute Charity Dingle and suspects her of being a golddigger. She attempts to bribe Charity into ending her relationship with Chris, only to end up having a lesbian affair with Charity until she eventually chooses Chris over his sister. At first Zoe warms up to Charity after suffering from schizophrenia that leads to her setting fire to the local church and then getting sectioned. Both Zoe's friends Paddy Kirk and Ashley Thomas comfort her over the trauma. Then in 2003, Zoe gets pregnant to a daughter named Jean - after her and Chris' late mother - and the father is revealed to be her one-stand lover Scott Windsor.

In September 2003, Zoe again feuds with Charity for cheating on Chris with her cousin Cain Dingle over his fatherhood with Charity's daughter Debbie Dingle. She is also upset to learn that Chris has an inoperable brain tumor and promises to look after his son, Joseph, following Chris' inevitable death. When Chris later dies in an apparent poisoning, Zoe suspects that Charity killed him and vows to get her sent to prison. Charity later explains to Zoe that he committed suicide and framed her for his murder, but Zoe continues to campaign against Charity due to their bitter conflict. Charity is found guilty thanks to Zoe's false testimony and sentenced to life imprisonment, but is acquitted after giving birth to her and Chris' son Noah - whom she sells to Zoe in exchange for getting her released from prison.

In 2004, Zoe finds herself and her family's ownership of Home Farm threatened by rival businessman Tom King along with his three sons Jimmy and Matthew and Carl altogether. Tom's youngest son Max and daughter-in-law Sadie later arrive in the village. Sadie forges a friendship with Zoe and blackmails her into signing Home Farm to the Kings. Early on, Zoe and Scott feud over their daughter and he attacks her before she subdues him with a tranquillizer. Zoe is later arrested and charged for attempted murder, but is found not guilty and later gets held at gunpoint by Scott until his mother Viv Hope forces him to back off.

Afterwards, Zoe leaves Home Farm with her business partner Callum Rennie to start anew with Joseph and Jean altogether. As they leave Zoe sees the Kings getting ready to move into Home Farm. She orders Callum to stop the car and watches as Home Farm suddenly explodes just as Tom is set to enter - Zoe having destroyed it in revenge against the family who underestimated her. The Kings and Scott are unable to get the police to trace Zoe as she has left the village for good, and is last heard hiring entrepreneur Graham Foster to take charge of Joseph.

Navigation

Trivia

  • Zoe Tate is the first character to become a lesbian in British Soapland.
  • Leah Bracknell passed away from a lifelong illness in September 2019, exactly fourteen years after her exit on Emmerdale.
    • Said actress received a nomination at the 2002 National Television Award for "Most Popular Actress" before later winning the "Best Exit" award at the 2006 British Soap Awards ceremony.
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