Emmerdale set social media on FIRE last night after revealing Debbie Dingle’s boyfriend, the mysterious ‘Tom Waterhouse’, is actually Joseph Tate – son of legendary Dales villain Chris and his first wife Rachel.
The revelation came out in a typically explosive manner when a suspicious Charity – who was Chris’ wife when he committed suicide – sneaked into ‘Tom’s’ office and found his passport.
After realising the millionaire, who has been dating her daughter, was her former step-son, Charity called Debbie to warn her that her boyfriend wasn’t who he said he was.
Unfortunately for Charity, it was actually Tom/Joe who answered the phone as she blurted out her discovery.
This put Tom/Joe on the back foot for a bit as it meant he had to speed up his revenge plan. He managed to pull it off though, and soon Debbie was being served with an eviction notice for Jacob’s Fold.
As if that wasn’t enough, bailiffs rocked up and took away her furniture AND the Bentley Tom/Joe had given her for her luxury car business.
Debs was confused until Tom/Joe appeared, popping the cork on a bottle of champagne while announcing his true identity to the village onlookers.
Fans flooded Twitter with their reactions to the big reveal. Some were totally floored by the revelation.
“Ok ok. After complaining about the Tom & Debbie storyline on @emmerdale being boring, I take it back. What a twist!!! Did not see that coming!”
“This Tom reveal as Joseph Tate is delicious. *kisses fingers* #Emmerdale,” added another.
A third gushed: “Omg #emmerdale has just smashed it out of the park after those eps tonight – I am still shocked at Tom’s true identity.”
Not everyone was quite so surprised by the big reveal though as many fans had already predicted Tom would be unmasked as Joe, who’s been living with his aunt Zoe all this time.
“Have been saying for ages that tom in #emmerdale is actually joseph tate and turns out I was right! could really do with a job as a storyline writer, not a scriptwriter though,” mused one viewer.
Joe revealed to a stunned crowd that he was back in the village to get revenge on Charity for killing his dad. Chris actually committed suicide, but set it up to look life his wife had murdered him.
He then laughed as a distraught Debbie realised what was going on, before telling her she was collateral damage AND THEN taking back the phone he’d given Sarah for Christmas.
Ned Porteous, who plays the conniving conman, has hinted that there may still be a chance of a reunion between Debbie and Joe though.
At a recent press event he revealed he believes his character has genuine feelings for the feisty Dingle: “I think there’s a lot of Debbie which Tom finds endearing – her drive, her determination and her thick skin. I think he admires Debbie strongly.
“Whether he loves her or whether it’s an admiration, there’s definitely something. He does care for her.
“If it were to get to a point where it would get her directly in harm, I’d like to think that he wouldn’t push it past that. I don’t think he’s a monster.”
Watch this space – as Joe said last night, this is just the beginning.