Emmerdale viewers were positively gleeful earlier this year, when the ITV soap confirmed that fan favourite Joe Tate was alive and well.
After months of believing the hot businessman had been killed by a deadly combination of Cain Dingle and Graham Foster, we were told Joe had in fact escaped the murderous village and was on the run in Monte Carlo.
Of course, soap fans haven’t stopped speculating ever since about the probability of Joe returning to the Dales.
And his comeback could well be coming up, with his former fiancée Debbie Dingle about to leave the village herself.
Some viewers have become convinced that her maternity leave will tie in with her being reunited with Joe and riding off into the sunset together.
Writing on Twitter, one fan said: “Debbie will disappear to find him (and have her child in real life).”
Another added: “Joe Tate is only alive now as a plot device for Debbie to leave for a few months whilst the actress who plays her is on maternity leave.”
A third added: “Maybe this is how Charley will take her maternity when she goes to find Joe?”
Charley Webb is pregnant and Joe Tate has been revealed alive… Debbie will disappear to find him (and have her child IRL) then return next year with Joe by her side… Surprise Charity and Cain by already being married… why haven’t @emmerdale hired me as a writer yet?! 😉
— Victoria Catterson (@VictoriaCatt96) March 18, 2019
Joe Tate is only alive now as a plot device for Debbie to leave for a few months whilst the actress who plays her is on maternity leave…#emmerdale
— Wooding (@Lorrain23194306) March 18, 2019
At least i can finally say “i told you so” re him not being dead! Prediction-Cain and Debbie find out about Joe right before Charley Webb’s maternity leave happens and she goes off to Monte Carlo to find him. #Emmerdale
— Matthew Chapman (@Matt528chap) March 18, 2019
Anyone else think Joe is only alive to give Debbie a sl so she can go on maternity? So will be interesting to see how he manages to talk Debbie round considering he allowed her to believe he was dead at the hands of her dad #Emmerdale
— Lorna Rafferty (@RaffertyLorna) March 18, 2019
Well I knew all along Joe was still alive!! Wonder if he will come back though? #Emmerdale or maybe this is how Charley will take her maternity when Debbie goes to find Joe??
— Nic (@Nicola07196629) March 18, 2019
I swear, if the show comes up w/this BS “Joe is in Monte Carlo”, so Debbie rushes off to be w/him just so Charlie can go on maternity leave, then for Debbie to come back in a year because Joe died in some yachting accident in the French Riviera, I’m going throw things.#emmerdale
— Lynnette Garcia-Corrales (@LvngConsciously) March 18, 2019
“Bring back Joe Tate,” said another. “I miss him loads. Let’s hope he’s in Scotland and Debbie finds him to bring him back home where he belongs.”
We know that Debbie is planning to start her own new life away from the Dales after the late Lisa Dingle left her and daughter Belle Dingle the deeds to a garage in Scotland – leaving Cain more than a little miffed that his daughter had been left the garage rather than him.
After attempting to ‘steal’ the garage from her, relations between father and daughter have been left frosty and Debbie confided in her auntie Chas that she’s planning to leave the village in secret to escape Cain’s controlling clutches.
Will Debbie ask Graham to put her in contact with former fiancé Joe? It certainly makes sense!
Do you want Debbie and Joe to return together? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think.