We all want legends like Kim Tate to return to the world of soap but there is always the risk that what initially made them so great and iconic could be lost or tarnished by whatever a comeback would bring.
Claire King has admitted that she had her reservations about bringing Kim back to Emmerdale for that very reason – and it may well have been a part of what made her turn down previous invitations.
However, now that the Tate name is relevant in the village once more and she has read the episodes, Claire was more than ready to swagger back into Home Farm with that smug Kim Tate smirk in place.
She told us: As there is already a Tate name in Home Farm, it was easier than having some random old bint come in with everyone saying “who the hells this?” It made it smoother with continuity. And I just fancied not driving another 4-5hrs across the Pennines to Manchester every day!
I thought it would be good fun and I still know people here. Chris Chittell was texting me saying “Look Kingy, theres still the same work ethic here, its great. I thought thank goodness for that, it really is a family. I know everyone says it but it really is true. It doesnt matter how old you are, there arent cliques, everybody gets on and theres respect. We all help each other, they understood my predicament after 20 years. It was nerve racking – I left on such a high and it could all go horribly wrong.
It certainly put the pressure on Claire and the show as a whole to bring Kim back after two decades. The former Bad Girls and Coronation Street star continued: Because of Kim being such a big character previously and the great memories, I didnt want to spoil that, I thought can I still do this? But my first few days were with Andrew Scarborough and it was almost like a new job, I wasnt in the main studios, luckily we got on really well straight away.
Then when I got to Home Farm, I thought “here we go! Shes back, okay!” When I got out of the car and took the mask off, it was so camp! It was written that way so I had to play it that way. The character was so well written for so many years ago I was hoping it would be that way again. It was such a delight as an actress to get those lines and enjoy it, its fun, makes your life so much easier and is very flattering. Ive done parts where you havent particularly been written for and its not as much fun, its hard work. When I got the scripts it was like “Yeehaw, shes back and I love it!”