Emmerdale theory: Joe Tate returns as he begins new romance with Gabby Thomas

Emmerdale: Graham Foster hides the body of Joe Tate

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Joe (played by Ned Porteous) was thought to have died on Emmerdale in October 2018 when Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) tried to get revenge for his daughter, Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb) after he had fled the village shortly after getting engaged. It was revealed in 2019 that he was actually living abroad after Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough) had helped him leave the country as Kim Tate (Claire King) thought he was dead and she would no longer be after him. The Home Farm socialite knows her stepgrandson is alive somewhere in the world but the last thing she would be expecting is for him to show his face on the ITV soap again, just as Gabby Thomas (Rosie Bentham) is trying t to track down Jamie Tate (Alexander Lincoln).

Speaking to Express.co.uk and other media, the actress who plays Gabby, Rosie, hinted there could be a big return on the cards.

The soap star was speaking in reference to her character’s current storyline after she recently discovered Jamie was not dead after it was presumed he’d been killed last year.

Although viewers would be expecting his face to show up again shortly, they might not be expecting to see Joe back in the thick of the action.

Rosie said: “I was not expecting this twist at all. I know the audience are going to be really, really shocked. It’s really, really interesting.

“It’s left quite open what’s going to happen,” she continued and this reveal was explained last week as Jamie still being alive.

But, there might have been more clues in the episodes which suggest this wasn’t about Jamie at all and is actually about Joe returning.

The discovery Jamie isn’t dead is one Gabby would like to keep from Kim as she knows her son could walk back into the picture and be forgiven for all his questionable behaviour before he disappeared.

With a son to look after now, Gabby is also concerned there will be a custody battle on the horizon as she thinks Jamie will want Thomas Tate all to himself.

Recently, she chose Dawn Taylor (Olivia Bromley) as someone to confide in about all the secret but she has already started to regret this.

In need of someone who has experience in hiding secrets from Kim, Gabby could track down Joe as she knows he is the one person who has tricked Jamie’s mother and gotten away with it.

It’s left quite open

Rosie Bentham

Having not been back to the village in a while, Joe could take this as his chance to return so he can be close to Gabby to make sure she doesn’t slip up.

Kim would have an axe to grind with him at first to talk about the money he stole from her but she has mellowed in recent months.

She doesn’t seem to be the same person who wanted him dead a couple of years ago and so she could let bygones be bygones.

With this being the first time he has been back to the Dales since Graham was killed, she would also know it’s going to be particularly hard for him.

However, she would have no idea he is actually hiding a huge secret from her and he is falling for the mother of her grandson, Gabby.

Joe might not have expected to develop such a bond with Gabby but the more time they spend together, the more he could see something in her that he saw in his ex, Debbie.

With the Dingle daughter no longer around, he could decide he wants to move on from his past and set up something with someone else.

Although Gabby also has a son in tow, he could become somewhat of a fatherly figure to him as he spends more time with Thomas’ mother.

They could become a perfect family unit as they spend more time together over the next few months, which could make Jamie’s return even more intrusive.

He would come in like a storm and having been jealous of Joe in the past, Jamie would hate to think this man is raising his child.

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It would birth a whole new set of storylines for the Tate family as the two men’s rivalry is explored further and more secrets from their past are exposed.

Rosie has also teased Jamie’s return to the Dales, adding: “I think Alex [Jamie] coming back would be great.

“It would certainly kick off a lot of drama and would be really fun to watch that play out. And he hasn’t met his son yet!

“I’d love for him to come back, however, if it came to it, I don’t really want to be kicked out of Home Farm, so if we could come to some sort of agreement first that would be great!”

If she were to start a romance with Joe, this would give her some ownership of Home Farm as the establishment was his before Kim returned to the village.

There has been no official comment on whether Joe would return to the show in the future but the door has been left well and truly open for him.

It seems fans are keen to see him back as Ryan wrote: “I’ve heard that Joe Tate could return for the 50th #Emmerdale.

“If so that’ll be very exciting. Emmerdale used to be better when Joe, Graham and Emma Barton were on the show,” they continued.

“Who wants to see Joe Tate return to Emmerdale? #Emmerdale #JoeTate,” Shane asked the Emmerdale fandom on the social media platform.

“Bring back Joe Tate #emmerdale,” Mahria simply remarked.

Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7:30pm on ITV, with an hour-long episode airing on Thursdays.

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