Charity Tate

Charity Tate
Charity Tate
Emma atkins charity.jpg
Charity in 2010
Emmerdale character
Portrayed by Emma Atkins
Introduced by Kieran Roberts (2000)
Gavin Blyth (2009)
Duration 2000–05, 2009—
First appearance 30 March 2000
Classification Present; regular
Spin-off appearances Emmerdale: The Dingles, For Richer for Poorer (2010)
Date of birth 1975
Home Holdgate Farm
Occupation Entrepreneur

Charity Tate (née Dingle) is a fictional character on the British ITV soap opera Emmerdale. She is played by Emma Atkins.

The character was involved in numerous high-profile storylines during her first stint on the show, such as her marriage to Chris Tate, lesbian affair with Zoe Tate, the arrival of her long-lost daughter Debbie, her affair with Debbie's father Cain, being framed by Chris Tate for his own 'murder', having Chris's child, her relationship with Tom King, and her exit after Sadie King framed Charity so that Tom believed she and Cain were having an affair.

During her second stint in Emmerdale, storylines have focused mainly on her relationship with Cain, from their almost-marriage to their get-rich-quick schemes, to her job working with Jai Sharma and Cain's mistaken believe that they were having an affair, causing the breakdown of Charity and Cain's relationship.



In 2004 Atkins quit the serial to pursue other projects.[1]



Charity came to Emmerdale in 2000 for her cousin Butch's funeral.[2][3] It later emerged that she had been a prostitute and the police had a warrant for her arrest. She stayed with her uncle Zak and his wife Lisa.

Charity as she appeared in her first episode. (2000)

Wanting money, Charity seduced Chris Tate, a wheelchair-using millionaire,[4] despite her family blaming Tate for Butch's death.[5] When Chris's sister, Zoe, discovered their 'relationship', she offered Charity money to stop seeing him but Charity kissed her.[3][5] Zoe became infatuated and they had an affair but Charity ended it after becoming alarmed by Zoe's possessiveness. She was becoming more attached to Chris and agreed to marry him. Zoe recorded Charity admitting to their affair and blackmailed her to sign a prenuptial agreement. Charity agreed but told Chris about her affair with Zoe and Chris forgave her, tearing up the prenup. Zoe moved out of Home Farm.

Chris and Charity married on 27 November 2001[5] with Terry Woods as best man and Chloe Atkinson as bridesmaid. Their marriage was happy and Charity helped Chris run his business empire.

Chris and Charity realised Zoe was ill when, after months of bizarre behaviour, Charity saw the state of her house. Chris refused to believe it but Zoe was sectioned after she set fire to the church and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Once on the road to recovery, she was shocked to discover that she was 5 months pregnant. She thought the baby's movements were a symptom of her illness and being lesbian, assumed she had been raped and planned a termination. Charity supported Zoe and when Zoe couldn't do it, told her that she had given a baby up for adoption as a teenager. Zoe planned to do the same with her daughter, Jean, but changed her mind.

Charity was stunned when Debbie Jones, current foster-child of Paddy and Emily Kirk, revealed that they were mother and daughter. Debbie's adoptive mother, Pat Jones, was terminally ill and gave Debbie a picture of her birth mother. Shocked, Charity refused all contact with Debbie but comforted her when Pat died, making her maternal instincts kick in. After fighting the Kirks for custody, she and Debbie were reunited. Charity was delighted when Chris and Debbie bonded too and he suggested he adopt her.

Debbie, however, wanted to know who her birth father was and Charity arranged for them to meet, revealing that her cousin Cain was Debbie's father. They had a brief relationship as teenagers. Charity's parents were disgusted to discover her pregnancy and threw her out so she turned to prostitution. Cain, Charity and Debbie bonded as a family, shutting Chris out, and Cain and Charity rekindled their relationship.

Chris, meanwhile, was suffering from terrible headaches. Concerned, he went to the doctor and tests revealed that he had an inoperable brain tumour. He also discovered Charity's affair with Cain. Devastated, Chris wanted revenge. Knowing he didn't have long to live, he emptied their joint account and threw her and Debbie out. Charity, however, wanted Chris back and a month later, went to Home Farm to discuss their marriage. She hoped for a reconciliation but Chris committed suicide on 17 September 2003.


Charity Tate was found guilty of Chris's murder and sentenced to life in prison. (2004)

She realised that Chris had framed her for murder when the police found her fingerprints on Chris's glass and her signature on an order for poison. The police didn't believe that Chris had committed suicide so she blamed Cain. Cain, however, said Charity had killed Chris and she was charged with murder but released on bail when her pregnancy was diagnosed. She moved in with Marlon and slept with him one night, after they'd had a few drinks, leaving him guilt-ridden as he was married. Charity blackmailed Marlon but Tricia found out and left him. She was killed in the storm of 2003/2004, having planned to return.

Meanwhile, Charity was working on Zoe, who also said that she had killed Chris. Zoe knew Chris had killed himself so Charity reminded her of their past and kissed her. However, the day Charity stood trial, Zoe testified that she had killed Chris. Charity was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

In October 2003, Charity collapsed at a hearing and was rushed to hospital, where she was told that she was eight weeks pregnant. Unfortunately she didn't know who the father was. On 1 March 2004, she gave birth by emergency caesarean section after suffering from pre-eclampsia. She had a son and named him Noah.

Due to her uncertainty, Cain and Marlon did DNA tests and discovered that Chris was Noah's father. Charity did a deal with Zoe - giving her custody for £20,000 and evidence that Chris had committed suicide. Now released, Charity returned to the Dingles but Debbie burnt the money on discovering Charity and Zoe's deal. Charity was furious. Unfortunately for Zoe, she was refused permission to adopt Noah and Social Services insisted he be returned to his mother at Holdgate Farm.

With Chris dead, Charity set her sights on the new local millionaire; Tom King. She got a job as his secretary and his attention. However, the arrival of Tom's daughter-in-law, Sadie, put a spanner in the works as Sadie knew Charity was a gold-digger. Charity gained the upper hand when Tom proposed but Sadie was determined to make sure the wedding didn't go ahead, hiring Cain to set Charity up. He kissed her whilst a photographer captured the moment.

Sadie showed Tom the pictures on his wedding day and he called it off. Charity was devastated, losing her home and her job. She and Sadie had a fight and Charity returned to the Dingles, vowing revenge.

Charity threatening Sadie with revenge, after Sadie ruined Charity's wedding to Tom King

In February 2005, Charity began an affair with Jimmy, Sadie's husband and Tom's son. However, Charity taped him telling her about Sadie's plan to set her up and how she had lied for years about wanting children. After blackmailing Jimmy, Charity played the tape at his birthday party on 1 March. Horrified, Tom threw Jimmy and Sadie out, devastated by their lies. Tom begged Charity to get back with him, despite her relationship with Jimmy. Charity refused and left with Noah, but abandoned Debbie.

Return, romance with Cain, moving on with Jai: 2009-

On October 1st 2009, Charity's daughter Debbie, who has been dating a man named Michael and hoping that he will leave his fiancé for her, gatecrashes Michael's wedding, only to find that his bride is none other than Charity herself, whom Debbie has not seen since she left the Dales four years previously. It transpires that Charity and Michael have been engaged for over a year. However, she hadn't told Michael about her nineteen year old daughter, and neither did Charity have any idea about Michael's affair with Debbie. Cain tells Michael about Charity's past as a prostitute and both parties call the wedding off. It later transpires that Charity knew Michael was about to leave her and told him that she was pregnant as a means of keeping hold of him.

Debbie reluctantly invites Charity and her young son Noah to live with her in Tug Ghyll, much to the distaste of Cain, although he eventually comes around to the idea, still in love with Charity. Charity then learns of Cain's fortune, stolen from the Kings. Thinking only of the money, she teams up with Carl King to steal the money back from Cain and split it 50/50. In order to win Cain's trust, Charity enters into a relationship with him. She discovers the storage building where Cain has been keeping the money, but changes her mind and returns the cash - just as Cain and Debbie walk in and mistakenly believe that Charity is in the process of stealing the money. Cain, feeling like a fool for falling for Charity again, kicks her out of Tug Ghyll, gives her the money in the hope that she'll leave Emmerdale for good, and then leaves himself for a short time.

Determined to win Cain back but with nowhere else to stay, Charity and Noah move in with Marlon. Charity attempts to give all of the money back to Debbie, who refuses to take it. Wanting to get rid of the money once and for all, Charity donates it to the church after Edna canvasses for gifts and donations. However Debbie finds out and furiously retrieves the money.

Cain then returns and is displeased to find Charity still in the village. The pair decide to be civil for Debbie and Sarahs' sake, but an argument transpires on Christmas Day which results in Debbie storming out of the Dingles' home and setting fire to the money. Realising they have nothing to argue about anymore, Charity proposes to a surprised Cain and he says yes.

Charity and Cain set a date for the wedding, but an eager Cain brings it forward. Chas, who is in on the plan, takes Charity into Leeds, tricking her into thinking they're going shopping. Charity realises what's actually happening as they reach the registry office and see the entire Dingle clan stood outside. She reacts badly and although she agrees to change into her wedding dress, she finds herself unable to go through with the ceremony. Later, in the Woolpack, she explains to Cain that she does love him but isn't ready to settle down and get married. They remain together, but Debbie leaves for Jersey, stressed by her parents' argumental antics.

Bored and looking for a thrill, Charity and Cain decided to make fast money by stealing wealthy mens' cars. The first time they attempt their scheme it is a resounding success, after Charity successfully steals a businessman's keys after flirting with him in the bar of a local hotel. The second time, however, they are not so lucky, after their target - Declan Macey - turns up in the village that same night to visit the Sharma brothers, whom he knows from previous business ventures, and spots Charity (minus her short black bob wig) in the Woolpack. Declan takes an instant liking to Charity and decides not to take matters to the police, on the grounds that she and Cain return the car and she goes for a drink with him.

In the months leading up to Christmas of 2010, Chas becomes aware of boyfriend Carl's affair with Edna's niece Eve, and Charity convinces her to bleed him dry of his money by organising an elaborate hoax wedding in revenge. Initially the plan goes well, but after some time Chas begins to get cold feet and convinces herself Carl is in love with her, much to Charity's annoyance. The wedding day arrives, and Charity remains in the dark about what Chas is going to do, but at the altar Chas tells Carl that she's been aware of his infidelity all along, and calls off the wedding, although she tells Charity that she might have pocketed tens of thousands of pounds but she's still depressed.

In 2011, Charity begins working for Jai Sharma as a property developer helping with the restoration of the barn next to the Zak and Lisa Dingles' farm. Initially Jai pays Charity to persuade Lisa to sell the farm and move to new accommodation in Hotten, but Lisa proves impossible to win over, and instead Jai uses Charity to project manage the conversion as well as to persuade businessmen to invest in the venture using her womanly charms. Cain soon becomes jealous of Charity and Jai's working relationship, and despite warnings from Debbie he cannot help but threaten Jai, warning him to keep his hands off Charity.

Cain's warnings do not scare Jai, who buys Charity a brand new company car in the hope of winning her affections. One evening in February, Jai takes Charity to a hotel for the evening, hoping to seduce her, but Charity makes it clear that she won't cheat on Cain, despite her attraction towards Jai. They book separate rooms for the night in another hotel. Later, Cain arrives at the first hotel with flowers for Charity, but on finding out that she and Jai have already checked out and only had one room, he assumes the worst and returns to the village, where he flirts with (and later sleeps with) Faye Lamb, both parties aware that the relationship is nothing more than a rebound.

Upon Charity's return to the village the following day, she sees Cain leaving Faye's house and witnesses the pair kiss. Furious, she slaps Faye, packs her bags and leaves Tug Ghyll. Initially Cain is nonchalant and tells Debbie that Charity will be back, but soon it becomes clear that she has moved on from Cain when she moves into Holdgate Farm with Jai. Charity tells Cain that it's his fault their relationship is over, but Cain remains convinced that Charity slept with Jai despite her protestations. Later, Charity makes a show of kissing Jai in the pub before leading him back to Holdgate Farm, where they do finally sleep together. Cain tries a number of methods to win back Charity, including putting the frighteners on the Sharmas by tying and bounding Nikhil and forcing him into an industrial-sized bin, where he is not discovered until the next day. He also threatens both Jai and Charity, but they continue their relationship, not scared by Cain.

Charity receives an anonymous invite to the plush Orange Grove Hotel as well as a new dress which is delivered to Holdgate Farm whilst Jai is at work. She assumes the dress and invite are from Jai, and heads to the hotel wearing the dress, only to find Cain waiting for her. They have an emotional heart-to-heart, but Cain blows his chances by repeatedly referring to Charity as a tart and a whore, before attempting to smother her with a pillow and then breaking down in tears. Charity explains to Cain that he'll never be able to let her forget about her past as a prostitute and tells him that deep down he hates her for it, and despite his claims to the contrary he cannot help but refer to her as a tart once more when she tells him she chooses Jai, on account of the fact that he is more romantic and easier to talk to than Cain. Debbie later curses Cain for ruining things, and he tells her that he's letting go of Charity - for now.

In August 2011, Jai finds out about Charity sabotaging the order and Nikhil at the factory and Charity finds out that Jai is Mia dad and they break up. Charity and Noah have to move in to Victoria Cottage with Chas, Gennie and Katie Sugden. Cain finds this fact very funny and is very happy that they have broken up.


For her portrayal of Charity, Atkin was nominated in the categories of "Best Actress", "Best Exit" and "Best Single Episode" (for her wedding with Tom) at the 2005 British Soap Awards.[6] Atkins was nominated in the category of "Best Actress" at the 2011 ceremony.[7]



  • Parkin, Lance (2002). 30 Years of Emmerdale. London: Granada. ISBN 0 233 05068 X. 

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