He arrived in the village as part of the original Tate family and moved in at Home Farm alongside his lesbian sister Zoe, their wealthy father Frank and step-mother Kim. He soon began a relationship with Kathy Merrick and the two married in 1991.
Chris was initially a reasonably good man who ran his business fairly but was left permanently resentful of his life when he was injured in a plane crash in 1993, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. Chris then became much more jaded after his recovery, often using his intelligence and assets to take revenge on who hurt him. The resulting disabilities he had left with made him realise that Kathy only remained with him to fulfil a role of his carer, leading to their divorce. He went on to marry Kathy's best friend Rachel Hughes in 1995 who gave birth to his first son Joseph earlier that year, but his growing lust for money and indifference for everyone else's feelings meant that they had come to a bitter end.
After Frank's death in 1997, Chris took over the Tate business and never let anything or anyone get in his way. The events before and after Frank's death saw Chris embark on a longstanding rivalry with Kim, as the pair become archenemies under both family and business circumstances. Chris immediately deduced that Kim killed his father and sought revenge against her to avenge Frank's death, but he ultimately lost the feud when Kim hospitalised him with a large paperweight before escaping the village with her infant son James.
The follow-up to Frank's death and Kim's departure saw Chris being kidnapped by his employee Liam Hammond, who later turned out to be his half-brother. Despite wanting to patch things up with Liam in the end, Chris witnessed Zoe shooting Liam dead when she intervened. Then in 2002, Chris was horrified to learn that Zoe had fallen pregnant. Chris believed she may have been raped, but nonetheless supported Zoe when gave birth to a daughter in January 2003 and together the pair welcomed the baby into their family. When Zoe's ex-lover Scott Windsor was revealed to be the baby's father, Chris was outraged and ignited a quarrel with Scott by torching his garage and even paying someone to make false rape allegations. Zoe was shocked at the lengths Chris went to ruin Scott's life and decided to put an end to it, in exchange for Scott signing over his rights to baby Jean.
By then, Chris had been enjoying his third marriage to former prostitute Charity Dingle ever since they wedded in 2001; despite a twelve-year age gap and the disapproval of both Zoe and the Dingle family respectively. In 2003, however, troubling circumstances emerged when Chris learned that Charity had been growing close with his love rival and her cousin Cain after it was revealed that they were the parents of a young schoolgirl Debbie Jones. This invoked Chris' paranoid assumptions that Charity would be cheating on him with Cain, and this later proved to be true when he found out that Cain and Charity were having an affair. At the same time, Chris learns he has a brain tumour which is impossible to remove, and rather than wait to die, decides to take revenge on Charity for ruining what they had. After ensuring Charity would be left with nothing, he lures Charity to a meeting between them where he toasts to "The death of their marriage". Although Charity claimed that she was sorry for her betrayal, Chris' last actions are to throw insults at her, before the poison he took kills him. After his death, Charity gave birth to Chris' second son, Noah.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 1989-1993: Arrival and relationship with Kathy Merrick
- 1.2 1993-1994: Becoming paralysed
- 1.3 1994-1997: Relationship with Rachel Hughes
- 1.4 1997-1999: Feud with stepmother Kim
- 1.5 1999: Kidnapping ordeal
- 1.6 2000-2003: Bus crash responsibility and Relationship with Charity Dingle
- 1.7 2003: Demise
- 1.8 Legacy
- 2 Quotes
1989-1993: Arrival and relationship with Kathy Merrick
Chris first appears in November 1989 when his father Frank and stepmother Kim buys Home Farm. He is the managing director of his father's haulage firm. Chris is reprimanded by Matt Skilbeck for the mistreatment of his sheep. Matt demands to Frank that Chris gets sacked. Frank says Chris is his son, so he will not sack him. Chris originally had his own flat in Skipdale, but moved into Home Farm to be closer to his love interest Kathy Merrick.
Chris and Frank had a tense relationship, partly due to the death of Chris's mother, Jean, from cancer and Frank's remarriage to his secretary Kim, who was only a few years older than Chris. However, Chris did have a close relationship with his younger sister, Zoe. When Frank admitted he had helped Jean die when she was terminally ill, Chris initially accused Frank and Kim of plotting his mother's death. Chris was also unimpressed when Kim persuaded Frank to have an operation to reverse his vasectomy.
Chris and Kathy began dating and Chris wrote a song for Kathy to sing at a village concert, 'Just This Side of Love' (which was released as a single sung by Malandra Burrows). They briefly split up over Chris's gambling habits after he lost his motorbike in a poker match to Alan Turner. They got back together and married on 5th November 1991. The marriage began to break down a year later when Chris found out Kathy knew that Kim was having an affair with Neil Kincaid. In the row that followed, Chris nearly hit Kathy and later confided in Zoe that he was worried that he had inherited their father's temper. Chris also wanted children and Kathy didn't.
When Frank started drinking heavily again, Chris saw the opportunity to gain control of the business by buying Kim's shares. He mortgaged his and Kathy's cottage to do so, and Kathy only found out when Frank confronted her. As it turned out, Zoe joined forces with Frank to vote down Chris. Kathy, meanwhile, began an affair with Josh Lewis and planned to leave Chris.
1993-1994: Becoming paralysed
On the night of the infamous plane crash of 1993, Chris spent the evening in Skipdale, unaware Kathy was planning to leave him that night. He was supposed to pick up Kathy and meet Zoe in The Woolpack but went straight to the pub, resulting in him being in the car park when the pub collapsed after being hit by wreckage from the crashing plane. Chris was trapped in the wreckage of the wine bar with his family thinking he was still in Skipdale. He was eventually discovered by Kathy's lover, Josh, and was dug out overnight. He was airlifted to hospital. He suffered spinal injuries and was left paraplegic.
1994-1997: Relationship with Rachel Hughes
Chris was very bitter about being disabled and realised that Kathy was only with him out of duty. He formed a bond with Rachel Hughes, whose brother, Mark, died in the plane crash, and she began giving him swimming lessons. The friendship became an affair and Kathy found out when she saw them kissing on their third wedding anniversary. When Kathy found out Rachel was expecting Chris's child, she threw Chris out of his wheelchair.
Rachel goes into labour prematurely after discovering that her stepfather Joe Sugden had died in a car crash in Spain. She gives birth to a baby boy named Joseph Mark after her stepfather and brother. Chris and Rachel soon fall out with Frank over his interference with Joseph.
In February 1997, Chris tries to rape Linda Fowler. New locum vet Paddy Kirk unwittingly tells Linda's father Ned, leading Ned to take the law into his own hands and armed with a shotgun, kidnaps Chris, intent on killing him. The Glovers and Frank intervene and Ned backs down.
1997-1999: Feud with stepmother Kim
When Frank died of a heart attack in May 1997, Chris was convinced that Kim had killed him. Kelly Windsor seduced Chris in order to pass her unborn baby off as his and get money for an abortion, but Kim pushed Kelly down the stairs causing her to lose the baby. Kim eventually admitted to Chris that she had watched his father die. When Chris tried to blackmail her into giving him custody of Frank and Kim's son James Tate, Kim hit Chris over the head and tipped him out of his wheelchair, pouring whisky over him before escaping with James by helicopter. He was found lying unconscious in front of Home Farm by Seth Armstrong. Rachel later died in May 1999 at the hands of her controlling boyfriend, Graham Clark, leaving Chris custody of Joseph.
1999: Kidnapping ordeal
In 1999, Chris was held hostage by an employee, Liam Hammond, who revealed that he was Frank's illegitimate son and Chris's half-brother. Chris eventually formed a bond with Liam and was upset when he was shot dead by Zoe who was 'rescuing' Chris. The police suspected that Liam was a secret family member with a grudge but could not prove it, as Chris destroyed the documents showing that Liam was Frank's son. Chris had Liam buried near their dad, which upset Zoe.
2000-2003: Bus crash responsibility and Relationship with Charity Dingle
In March 2000, one of Chris' faulty lorries crashed into a minibus that was about to go out for the day. Chris' employee Pete Collins was killed in the crash as was 3 passengers on the minibus; Butch Dingle, Patricia Holmes and Bob Simmons. Chris faced a lot of abuse from villagers, including Butch's fiery cousin (and half brother, unbeknown to Cain at the time) Cain Dingle who wanted justice for Butch. It turned out that Lisa Dingle had not finished repairing the lorry that caused the crash.
In 2001, Chris married for a third time, to prostitute Charity Dingle. However, Zoe didn't like Charity and told Charity it was because of her history, but it soon transpired that Zoe fancied Charity herself. She offered Charity money to leave Chris and Charity responded by kissing her. The two then famously had a lesbian affair, which lasted for several months. Charity became alarmed by Zoe's obsessive behaviour and tried to end the fling, but Zoe secretly recorded Charity confessing to the affair on tape and blackmailed her into signing a prenuptial agreement, so she would always have a hold over her. Charity then confessed all to Chris, and he surprised her by forgiving her and ripping up the prenup. He later forgave Zoe after she was diagnosed with Schizophrenia.
In 2003, Chris discovered that Charity had had a baby when she was 13 and given it up for adoption after Emily and Paddy Kirk's 13-year-old foster child Debbie Jones claimed she was Charity's daughter. He was shocked to discover that Debbie's father was Charity's cousin Cain . In later 2003 he threw Charity out after discovering that she had been having an affair with Cain. Learning that he had a brain tumour and only months to live, Chris began frittering away all his money to ensure Charity would be left with nothing. He said a tearful goodbye to Zoe and Joseph and then arranged a meeting with Charity where he poisoned himself in order to frame his wife for his murder. He died on the floor of Home Farm in the same spot where his father had died six years previously. His last word was 'whore'.
After sleeping with her cousin Marlon, Charity discovers she is pregnant. She is unsure of who the father is, but is definitely sure that it was either Chris, Cain or Marlon. In January 2004, Charity is sentenced to life imprisonment. During her sentence, she gives birth to her son, who she names Noah, and it is soon revealed that Chris was the father. Charity strikes a deal with Zoe - she can have custody of Noah in return for £10,000 and evidence that Chris committed suicide. Zoe agrees and Charity is released. Zoe refuses to allow Charity any contact with Noah, who she calls Christopher, and plans to adopt him but permission is refused due to already having two children (her nephew Joseph and her daughter Jean), running Home Farm and her mental health issues. Social services ask Charity to decide if she wants to raise him or put him up for adoption elsewhere. She chooses to raise him and Zoe returns him to Charity.
Joseph, now simply going by Joe, returned to the village in 2017 going under the alias of Tom Waterhouse. He started a relationship with Charity's daughter Debbie then revealed his true identity and publicly humiliated Debbie as revenge on Charity who he blamed for Chris' death. Chris was again mentioned by Kim during her return in October 2018. Chris was mentioned again in January 2021 when Kim referred to him as her repellent stepson.
"Hello. Something wrong?" - first line.
"Oh, I think Neil has an eye for the ladies, don't you Kim?" - to Kim Tate.
"Don't let anybody tell you that two wrongs don't make it right." - talking to Debbie about math
"Nobody's gonna push me around. Not even in this chair."
"Charity... how much more can you degrade yourself?" - to Charity Tate.
"Remembering how it felt to want you dead! Believe you me, I've given it serious thought. I've lain awake at night fantasising over the way to do it. A long, lingering death? Or a short, nasty one? But you know what the conclusion I came up with is? Killing her's too easy! She wouldn't suffer enough! She wouldn't have to live with the thought of what she's done to me for the rest of her worthless life! So it's better that we do it the less, conventional way round. It's better you kill me!" - asking Charity to kill him to get his revenge.
"Whore." - final line to Charity.