Emmerdale spoilers: Is Joe Tate returning to Emmerdale?

ITV soap Emmerdale gave fans some relief after revealing what became of businessman Joe Tate (played by Ned Porteous). The character appeared to get murdered in 2018 during the Masquerade Ball. Nevertheless, many believed he was still alive after his fingers were seen twitching. Here’s everything we know about the character making a comeback. 

Is Joe Tate returning to Emmerdale?

The short answer is that we just don’t know but it’s entirely possible the character could make a comeback – this is soap land, after all.

However, Emmerdale did reveal the character was still alive after it was revealed that Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough) had helped him escape from Kim Tate’s (Claire King) evil clutches.

He made a return of sorts when a picture of Joe turned up in an episode of the soap but that was it. 

An ITV spokesperson told “There are no current plans for the character of Joe Tate to return after last night’s episode.”

Previously, fans came up with a theory, predicting the character laying low and waiting to make his move in a bid to be reunited with his love Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb).

Before the reveal, there were also theories suggesting Joe was alive after viewers saw his hand twitch as his supposedly lifeless body was moved.

Graham drove away with Joe’s body and a shovel but there was ambiguity over where the character was taken and if he’d been buried.

To add more fuel to the fire, Emmerdale saw Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb) trying to identify Joe’s body only to discover the corpse belonged to someone else.


Joe’s body has not yet been recovered, leading to suggestions he could still be out there alive and ready to make a return.

Also, Joe has been very much present in the current storylines after Debbie learnt about her father Cain’s (Jeff Hordley) part in the demise of her fiancé.

The hot-headed Dingle has taken revenge on her father since by trying to stop him from gaining custody of his son Kyle.

There are also theories Debbie could try to leave the village as she deals with her grief.



Many of the other villagers have spoken about Joe previously with Megan Macey (Gaynor Faye) talking about a lack of a body being found.

So Joe definitely remains on the minds of the villagers with the writers teasing fans about a possible return.

In fact, Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) is set to be receiving a late-night phone call with speculation that Joe could be trying to somehow contact her.

Porteous’ performance has proved to be a hit with fans, leading the star to be nominated for Best Newcomer at this year’s National Television Awards.

Sadly he lost out to EastEnders actor Danny Walters, who portrays Keanu Taylor in the BBC rival soap.



Looking at actor Porteous’ social media accounts, it’s again unclear what the future could hold for his character Joe.

Only a couple of days ago, the actor posted a picture of himself attending Sir Elton John’s Oscar After Part in the US to his 116,000 Instagram followers.

Judging from the post, Porteous is in the US at the moment and far away from the brooding Yorkshire Dales, suggesting Joe won’t be back for a little while.

However, there’s nothing to stop Porteous from making a comeback given the open-ended way Joe’s fate was left.

Emmerdale airs on ITV weekdays at 7pm


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