Zoe Tate:Leah Bracknell

Who was Zoe Tate in Emmerdale, who are her children and why did she leave the village?

Could her daughter Jean ever come back to Emmerdale?

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Zoe Tate arrived in Emmerdale with her dad, Frank Tate, brother Chris Tate and stepmother Kim Tate.

She was the first lesbian character in a soap and also battled schizophrenia.

During her time in the Dales she dealt with the death of her father and her brother, being a single parent to daughter Jean and guardian to nephew, Joseph.


Zoe arrived in Emmerdale as a student vet with her family (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

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Who was Zoe Tate in Emmerdale?

Zoe was a veterinary student when she first came to Emmerdale – or Beckindale as it was still known when she arrived – with her family.

She was a passionate supporter of animal rights and often rubbed the locals up the wrong way. But she won them over and once she was qualified she set up a successful practice with Paddy Kirk.

It was Zoe who encouraged half-brother Jamie Tate to train to be a vet and to come to Emmerdale to work in the practice.

Zoe Tate blessing
Zoe had a blessing with partner Emma Nightingale (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

What happened when Zoe came out?

Zoe came out in 1993, becoming the first lesbian character in soap.

Her dad Frank was shocked and disappointed at first, but he came round quite quickly and proved to be supportive of his daughter.

Vet receptionist Linda Glover resigned when Zoe’s sexuality became common knowledge.

Her dad, Ned Glover, didn’t want her working for a lesbian. There was tension between Zoe and Ned for a while, but eventually he admitted he was wrong.

Zoe had a romance with interior decorator Emma Nightingale and, although it was before equal marriage was legal, the pair decided to have a blessing.

But when Emma’s ex Susie turned up at the ceremony, there was a spark between her and Zoe, and eventually Zoe broke up with Emma and started a relationship with Susie instead.

Zoe Tate and Charity Dingle pose together after they had a shock affair
Zoe fell hard for Charity (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

How were Zoe, Chris and Charity connected?

Chris Tate married Charity Dingle, much to Zoe’s disgust. She didn’t think the Dingle diva was right for her brother.

But in the end it was Zoe who fell for Charity. The pair had an affair and for a while, Zoe was obsessed with her sister-in-law.

When Charity ended their romance Zoe began blackmailing her, but Charity told Chris the truth instead and he chose his wife over his sister.

When Chris, who had an inoperable brain tumour, took his own life, he framed Charity for his murder.

Charity knew Zoe was aware of what her manipulative brother had done, and tried to seduce her sister-in-law. But Zoe got wise, and Charity ended up in prison.

Zoe Tate sectioned Emmerdale
Zoe was sectioned after she set fire to the church (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

Emmerdale: Zoe Tate and her schizophrenia

Zoe’s life began crumbling when her previously unknown half-brother, Liam Hammond, kidnapped her brother Chris.

After a dramatic confrontation, Zoe shot Liam dead.

Liam’s death and then her affair with Charity left Zoe depressed and she began having schizophrenic episodes.

Zoe set fire to the church, and began talking to her dead father, Frank.

When she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and sectioned, she found out she was pregnant.

She had no memory of how she got pregnant and at first wanted to have an abortion, but she later decided to keep her baby and when her daughter was born, she named her Jean, after her mother.

Scott Windsor realised he must be Jean’s dad and Zoe – who didn’t remember them having sex – thought he had raped her. But eventually she accepted that their liaison had been consensual.

Zoe Tate leaves Emmerdale with her daughter Jean
Zoe left Emmerdale for a new life taking daughter Jean with her (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

How did Zoe leave Emmerdale?

Still reeling from Chris’s death and Jean’s birth, Zoe planned to emigrate to New Zealand with Jean and Joe.

After a confrontation with Scott, she ended up injecting him with ketamine and stood trial for attempted murder.

But when Paddy testified that Scott had been angry on the night Zoe attacked him, Zoe was cleared.

Sadie King convinced Zoe to sell Home Farm to her at a knockdown rate and Zoe agreed.

But she had the last word when, working with estate manager Callum Rennie, she engineered it so Home Farm exploded just as the Kings arrived.

Her exit was an hour-long special episode, and was watched by over 8 million people.

Is Zoe Tate dead?

In the world of Emmerdale, Zoe is still alive.

She left the village with her Joe and Jean and headed off to a new life in New Zealand.

But, of course, Zoe can’t return to Emmerdale due to the tragic death of actress Leah Bracknell.

Leah Bracknell on This Morning talking about her cancer diagnosis
Leah raised money for cancer treatment (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

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Leah Bracknell’s illness

Zoe Tate actress Leah was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016, ten years after she’d left Emmerdale to concentrate on teaching yoga and spending time with her partner Jez Hughes and their two children.

She and Jez tied the knot in 2017.

A fundraiser to help her pay for experimental treatment in Germany raised thousands of pounds in just a few days.

But sadly, in 2019, Leah died, aged just 55.

Jez has spoken about his grief for his wife and admitted he watches old episodes of Emmerdale to feel close to her.

He recently shared his happiness at finding love again with new girlfriend Precious Dunlop.

Want more on Emmerdale and its characters?

Entertainment Daily has a dedicated Emmerdale spoilers section for you to get your fix before the latest episodes air.

Emmerdale usually airs weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV. You can also catch up on the ITV Hub.

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