Many of Kim's storylines have revolved around her marriage to Frank Tate, whom she had divorced, remarried, and was widowed by. She embarked on two affairs, with Neil Kincaid in 1992 and Dave Glover in 1996 - as well as a third marriage to Frank's former business partner Steve Marchant.
Kim embarked on several feuds, most notably with her stepson Chris Tate, and established an unlikely friendship with Seth Armstrong. She faked her own death in order to get revenge on Frank, who had a fatal heart attack on 22nd May 1997 after Kim reappeared and watched him die without helping him.
On 19th January 1999, Kim escaped the village in a helicopter with both her son James Tate and the £190,000 that she reclaimed from Chris, who had recovered it from his father's grave in a last-ditch attempt to bring her to justice for Frank's death, after knocking him out with a paperweight.
Nearly two decades later in October 2018, Kim returned and was revealed to be the mastermind behind the events of the Dingles being endangered of losing their home, with her step-grandson Joe Tate carrying out the plot in his bid to exact revenge on his former stepmother Charity Dingle. Kim was pushed off a balcony at Home Farm by Faith Dingle, before being sent back to prison for dangerous driving.
Kim permanently returned to Emmerdale in 2019, and has since then embarked formally on a relationship with her on/off lover and Joe's legal guardian Graham Foster, and tried to blackmail Cain Dingle into sleeping with her in return for the photos which proved that Joe was still alive. She's reconnected with her son Jamie and had an ongoing feud with his wife Andrea Tate since their arrival in the village. Months later, Kim became the new owner of Sharma & Sharma, became business partners with Al Chapman, and revealed she and Graham were married. Kim became one of Graham's murder suspects in 2020.
1959-1989: Early life
Kimberley Jane Barker was born on the 19th January 1959 to her father who was a telephone engineer, and her mother who was a hairdresser. Kim also had a sister. Kim started out as Frank Tate's secretary and had an affair with him while his wife, Jean, was terminally ill, despite Frank being old enough to be her father. Frank's son, Chris, was also attracted to Kim although they later became bitter enemies. After Jean's death, Frank and Kim married.
1989-1994: Arrival and plane crashKim arrived in Beckindale in November 1989 after she and Frank bought Home Farm. Kim initially seemed to be a nice person who got on well with Frank's two children Chris and Zoe. She was also good friends with Chris's wife, Kathy. This all changed in 1992 when her affair with Neil Kincaid was discovered. Frank found out on Christmas Day and threw Kim out of Home Farm and turned to alcoholism. Frank got consumed by rage which he turned towards Kim, going as far as pointing a gun towards Kim and Neil when he found them on his property. Kim ended her relationship with Neil not long afterwards, feeling as he was ashamed of her and that she didn't come from a rich family.
After Kim and Frank separated in 1993, she set up stables under her maiden name of Kim Barker. This, however, didn't last long as the stables were destroyed in the plane crash in December that year, killing many of the horses including Dark Star. After the plane crash, Frank and Kim put aside their differences and reconciled, remarrying in December 1994. However, Zoe and Chris never trusted her again.
1995-1996: Affair with Dave; James' birth and Dave's death
In 1995, Kim began an affair with Dave Glover, boyfriend of Kim's former friend Kathy Tate (now divorced from Chris). This time Kim was much more ruthless about keeping the affair secret and trampled Kathy's brother Nick Bates with her horse when he threatened to expose her. She also threatened Nick's daughter Alice. When Frank had a heart attack and was advised to take it easy, Kim encouraged him to sleep with her in the hope of inducing another heart attack. Kim then became pregnant and wasn't sure who the father was.
When Frank overheard Dave and Biff Fowler discussing the situation, he did have another heart attack and ended up in hospital. He then had time to think and decided to pretend not to know about the affair while hiring a private detective to follow Kim and Dave before confronting his wife with the evidence. He also hired scheming Tina Dingle as a secretary in Home Farm who used to wind Kim up by wearing her dresses that Frank had bought. He offered her a million pounds to dump Dave and name him as the father and Kim accepted. Their son was named James Francis Tate.
However, after bonding with the baby, Kim and Dave resumed their relationship, despite the fact that he was now married to Kathy. They planned to run away together, but a fire broke out at Home Farm and Dave died - of injuries sustained while rescuing baby James - in hospital on Boxing Day 1996.
Kim mourned the loss of her horse, Valentine, after learning that Zoe put the house down with permission from Frank.
1997-1999: Fake death; Frank's death; marriage with Steve; and departure
In February 1997, Kim disappeared from the village, and a few days later a woman was found dead at the wheel of her car. Frank identified the body as Kim; however, in May Frank was stunned when Kim returned, revealing she had paid a lookalike prostitute to drive her car around the village to fool people into thinking she was still there (when in fact she had fled to the Caribbean) and that it was her body, not Kim's, that Frank had identified. The shock caused Frank - who had spent time on remand for her murder - to have another heart attack, this time fatal. Kim watched him die, saying "You're a dinosaur Frank - and you know what happened to them", checked he was dead with her compact mirror, then coolly redid her make-up. Chris blamed her for his death and swore revenge.
After Frank's will was read out, Kim inherited a half share of Home Farm. She later started seeing Steve Marchant (who she later married), who also had a share in Home Farm. They married the year later, but Kim soon found out that Steve was bankrupt, and that she was bankrupt too.
In 1998, when Kim and her new husband, Steve, fell on hard times, they planned to make money by stealing a horse and selling it, after replacing it with an older horse in the hope that no-one would notice the difference. Whilst driving the horse-box, however, Steve happened to run over Kathy. Kim managed (after narrowly preventing Steve finishing Kathy off in the hospital) to talk to Kathy while she was alone, concussed and vulnerable. She persuaded her that Steve had not stopped his vehicle when he had hit her to make her husband seem like the sole villain of the piece - even though she had helped to plan the theft of the horse.
On the day of trial in January 1999, with the lawyers questioning Kathy's validity as a witness for Steve's hit-and-run crime, Kathy herself questioned how true Kim's words had been. For this, and numerous other crooked tricks, the police were soon on her trail.
Needing to escape, Kim discovered that Chris had found the money from the robbery that she had buried in Frank's grave. She confronted Chris, tried seducing him, and knocked him out with a paperweight when he was not fooled. Then she confessed that she had indeed, as he speculated, killed his father; he had died of a heart attack while she looked on - in precisely the location Chris was now lying in. Kim then poured the alcohol on Chris after getting the money. She left with her son, James, in a helicopter. The pilot asked her if she was Kim Marchant, and she replied, "No, Kim Tate". The helicopter flew over several residents of the village, including Zak Dingle, Lisa Dingle and Jack Sugden.
1999-2017: Intervening years
At some point between 1989 and 1998, Kim had met Graham Foster at a function. They began a relationship which would last for 15 years. Graham was in a loveless relationship with a woman named Cheryl and gave into temptation, igniting an affair with Kim. Cheryl knew that Graham was being unfaithful, but due to his drink problem, she refused to confront them both. Cheryl became pregnant with Graham's baby and they married, but a drunk Graham had a collision with a tree whilst driving Cheryl back from her baby shower. Instead of phoning for emergency services, Graham phoned Kim but the car exploded, killing Cheryl and the baby. Kim comforted Graham and got him a job as a groundskeeper for Joe's school. Joe and Graham struck up a friendship and Joe saved Graham when he tried to kill himself by burning down his hut. When Kim was sent to prison, she and Graham kept in touch. They also married at some point, although Kim would claim their marriage was for strictly business purposes.
2018-2019: Return and reuniting with Jamie
In October 2018, Kim was released from prison after serving a 6-year sentence and met up with Graham. Kim found out that Joe had caused financial problems with his business and Kim felt she was unable to handle him anymore. She told Graham to get rid of Joe, but Graham packed a bag for Joe, gave him £100,000 and told him to make a run for it.
Kim arrived at Home Farm in a flashy sports car, which went under auction and sold to Eric Pollard for £20,000 to raise Sarah Sugden Jr.'s heart condition treatment; however, Kim refused to give him the car because it was undervalued. After finding out about Joe, Kim ordered Graham to kill him. Cain Dingle later attacked Joe after he walked out of his wedding to his daughter, Debbie, and Graham said he was dead. Kim went upstairs and was pushed from the balcony by Faith Dingle, and crashed into a champagne fountain below. She survived the fall and was diagnosed with serious head trauma and a large quantity of blood loss. However, she was discharged from hospital shortly afterwards. She received a visit from the police about being caught on camera speeding in the uninsured sports car and was sent back to prison to finish the rest of her sentence - six months.
On 14th March 2019, Graham picks Kim up from prison and they drive back to Home Farm; however, the car slows down to a complete stop - forcing Graham to go out for help. While waiting, Kim flags down Debbie's father and Faith's son, Cain Dingle, when he comes across her. At first, Cain helps Kim but the two end up in an argument after he learns who she is. When Graham informs Kim that Cain killed Joe, having falsely claimed to have done the job himself, Kim plans to implicate Cain for Joe's murder. Kim tries to get Cain on her side, but he refuses. Later, Kim finds money has gone missing from an offshore account and catches Graham making a suspicious phone call. Kim does some digging and finds out that Joe is still alive and he withdrew money from Kim's offshore account at an ATM in Monte Carlo. Kim confronted Graham about this, and he revealed that Joe is no longer in Monte Carlo as he moved him on. Kim steals Noah's phone and buries it in the woods. Cain goes looking for him and after hearing his phone ring, underneath the soil, he fears that Kim has killed him and begins to dig, only to be caught by the police. Kim then threatens to get Cain imprisoned for Joe's murder if she doesn't do what she wants. Noah becomes suspicious of Kim and Graham after hearing them talking about Joe. Kim finally tells Cain that Joe isn't dead and tries blackmailing him into bed in exchange for her telling the police. Cain chases after Graham and fights him in a field until Moira runs in and breaks it up. Cain agrees to sleep with Kim but bails out at the last minute, enraging Kim.
Graham phones Joe to say a final goodbye to him, but as Kim threatens to have him killed, he blackmailed her by saying he will tell Jamie if she doesn't leave Joe alone. Kim tries to contact Jamie but fails to. Debbie slaps Kim once she learns the truth about Joe. Kim is later reunited with her son, Jamie. After he got a job as a vet, Kim asked unlikely friend Rhona Goskirk to find an incentive to keep Jamie at the vets. Kim also decides she wants her son living with her at Home Farm and does her best to persuade him to move in. In May 2019, Jamie gets upset after Kim insults terminally ill Lisa Dingle and her daughter Belle. Kim asks Jamie how she can be better and says she wants to be a proper mom to him but she's out of practice. Kim reveals that all she wants is to spend time with him, just the two of them and nobody else getting in the way. Jamie tells Kim that nobody forced her to alienate everyone and that she can't change that. Kim tells Jamie she can, and offers Jamie to stay for food and a glass of champagne. Jamie turns down the offer as he has an exam the next day, with Kim offering to help him revise. Jamie refuses and leaves. Some time later, Jamie gives Kim a choice, he will stay at Home Farm but only if she invites Lisa to dinner to make up for being so horrible to her. Kim agrees to do this.
On 3rd June 2019, whilst Kim is out riding her horse, Tally, she bumps into Priya. As Kim and Priya are talking, a car comes speeding around the corner. It slows down to pass Kim, Priya and Tally but the horse gets spooked and he bolts, with Kim chasing after him. As Kim walks Tally to the vet's, she spots the car that spooked her horse parked outside Smithy Cottage so she confronts the driver. As Rhona and Jamie walk up Main Street, they spot Kim and the woman having words. As Kim and the woman continue to argue, a little girl jumps from the car and runs into Jamie's arms. A confused Kim demands to know what's going on so Jamie introduces his mum to his daughter, Millie, and his wife, Andrea. A shocked Kim asks Andrea how old she is. Andrea can't believe that's Kim's first question and comments Jamie was right about her. Kim soon realises Andrea doesn't know Jamie is staying with her so she takes glee in informing her of Jamie's current living arrangements.
At Home Farm, Jamie explains to Andrea that he was going to tell her about moving in when he came home. Kim listens to the pair's conversation from the other side of the door and is pleased that they're arguing. Andrea questions what's changed for Jamie to decide to move in with Kim. Jamie states that when all is said and done, Kim is still his mum. He assures Andrea that he's not going to allow Kim to come between them then asks his wife to let him make things up to her. Kim believes Jamie regrets marrying Andrea and that's why he didn't tell anyone about her and Millie although Jamie states he did that as he was protecting his wife and daughter from her. After Jamie has left, Kim reveals to Rhona that Jamie is married with a child and didn't tell her about them. Kim refuses to sit back and let Andrea take her son away from her. Graham Foster later reveals to Kim that he had hired Andrea to keep tabs on Jamie when he was in a bad place and unable to do so himself. But he then lost contact with Andrea, who had genuinely fallen for Jamie and then went on to have a child, Millie, with him. Jamie is blissfully unaware of the arrangement and despite Kim’s belief that Andrea is after Jamie’s money, Andrea insists that the wealth is of no interest to her, she loves him.
In July 2019, Rishi Sharma made a deal with Kim to help save Sharma & Sharma. Rishi is not happy with the contract Kim has issued him to get the factory out of debt. Realising Kim is his only way out, he reluctantly accepts the offer. During this time, Jamie and Andrea planned to get Kim to sign a contract which cuts her out of a deal. However, Kim found out about their plans through an accidental video call by Millie. With Kim having uncovered Jamie’s secret plan to trick her into signing over her share of the vets to him, she was furious and sent Graham over to destroy Rhona’s career by coming down hard on the vet surgery. Meanwhile, Kim once again appeared to be having a moment of conscience as Jamie made his weekly threat to leave Home Farm as he is still somehow surprised by his mum's vindictiveness. Determined to keep him in her life, she assured him that he could have her share of the vets with no strings and there’d be no consequences for the other vets, Rhona, Vanessa and Paddy.
In August 2019, Kim became the co-owner of Sharma & Sharma, buying a 49.5% share, after the fire and explosion when the insurance company refused to pay out, causing the Sharmas to no longer be able to afford to pay for the repairs or wages for the workers. She later convinces Nicola King to sell her 1% share to her, giving her the majority control over the business. However, she soon reveals the share was actually bought by her secret business partner, Al Chapman. The pair then unveil their plans to build an outdoor pursuit centre at the factory grounds, to a shocked Jai and the horrified factory workers who fear they'll lose their jobs.
2019-: Graham's murder
In October 2019, Graham went public with his romance with Rhona Goskirk, and Kim was left upset after realising he was serious. She then decided to change his position in the company after no longer being able to trust Graham, and tonight admitted to Al Chapman that he could benefit from his downfall.
In November 2019, Kim spoke to Marlon Dingle to ask him if she could hire the Woolpack for a special event she was planning. Rhona, meanwhile, got upset with Marlon for liaising with Kim and she later confronted Kim for trying to turn Marlon against Graham. Kim then sent Graham a text asking him to meet her at the pub for a special announcement, with Graham totally unaware about what Kim's revelation was all about. She then revealed that her and Graham are married and that it is their wedding anniversary.
As expected, Kim's anniversary bombshell left everyone at the Woolpack in shock while Graham's new partner Rhona was left pretty upset that Graham had never admitted to being married to Kim before. While Graham tried to explain to Rhona that the marriage was purely a business arrangement, that wasn't enough for Rhona who felt betrayed. Meanwhile, Jamie was also upset with his mother's scheming, as he couldn't understand her motives behind planning an anniversary party that nobody was happy about. But, in a bid to take revenge on Kim later one, Graham also dropped a pretty big bombshell himself, telling Kim that he is Millie's biological father. Despite Andrea's comments about Millie being Jamie's, Kim decided to do a DNA test via strands of Millie's hair to determine who the father really is. Kim later organises her family a trip to Lapland while she deals with Graham. Later on, Graham was revealed to not be the father, but this didn't stop him from crashing the Tates' dinner at Christmas Day, to reveal that Andrea slept with him, causing both Kim and Jamie to be furious with her.
On the day of Graham's murder, Kim invites him up to Home Farm and is shocked when he admits that he and Rhona have broken up. Kim shows her vulnerable side by asking Graham to give their relationship another try and admitting that she loves him. Kim soon changes her tune, though, when after Graham makes a failed attempt to string her along, she discovers that he lied about ending it with Rhona and has been stealing from her too. Wanting Graham dead, Kim orders her new right-hand-man Al to do her dirty work for her and kill Graham before he has a chance to walk away, knowing that he's won and taken everything from her. However, Al never go the chance to do so as Graham was instead murdered by Rhona's rapist ex-husband Pierce Harris. After discovering Graham's body, Al returned to Kim saying the deed was done and demanded his money. Kim struggled with Graham's death and her belief that she had caused it.
In February 2020, a month after Graham's death, Kim was driving her Hawksford car near Home Farm, when Pierce suddenly emerged from the shadows and deliberately crash his bike into Kim’s car. Believing it was an accident, Kim invited Pierce into Home Farm. to check him over, oblivious to who he really is. Posing as a solicitor called Ollie, probing Pierce made small talk with Kim and soon had her in the palm of his hand, as the conversation turned to the bitter custody case her son and daughter-in-law are embroiled in. Kim introduced ‘Ollie’ to Jamie and promised to tap him up as the battle with Andrea over Millie's future continues. However, the truth eventually came out and Pierce was arrested for the murder of Graham.
In March 2020, Kim held Graham's funeral by herself despite promising Rhona she'd be let in on the funeral plans. Kim got consumed by guilt and grief and in an outburst, after the funeral, she almost revealed to Andrea that she'd hired someone to kill Graham before Pierce got there first. Despite Kim denying it Andrea realised what Kim had almost confessed to and told Jamie who confronted her. Kim opened up to Jamie and finally told him the truth and he took sympathy on her, much to Andrea's disgust who now wanted to make sure she got custody of Millie so Kim would never be near her again. Soon after, Kim was arrested after the police found out about her involvement, however, she was let got as there was no evidence. Kim tried to win one over on Andrea for Jamie to win Millie in court but her plan went wrong when Andrea told Jamie it all and he turned on Kim. Jamie and Millie moved out of Home Farm and Jamie and Andrea decided to try again which Kim didn't like at all. However, after she caught wind of Jamie's affair with Belle Dingle, she changed her tune covering for Jamie when Andrea questioned where he had been and told him that despite her dislike of Andrea she was better than a Dingle.
To be added.
- According to Claire King's autobiography - 'Confessions of a Bad Girl', Kim was originally going to be married to Chris, but the writers decided that Kim was more interested in the Tate money and would have 'cut out the middle man' by marrying Frank.
- Claire King quit the role in October 1996, but a few days after her final scenes aired in February 1997, the producers asked her back with more exciting storylines and a high pay rise, which saw Kim return on screen in May 1997. She decided to leave again in August 1998 and remained until January 1999.
- Claire King finally accepted a return to the role in 2018 after years of rejecting, out of fear the character may get ruined. Her first scenes after nearly 20 years aired in Episode 8279 (8th October 2018).
"Oh, that's all I need. Giving birth to Judas Priest." - during her labour.
"I'll have the last word, Frank. I always have, and I always will." - to Frank Tate.
"You're a dinosaur, Frank. And you know what happened to them." - to Frank Tate when she watched him die of a heart attack.
"You know it's true what they say. You learn a lot in prison. Careful who you trust; do it to them before they do it to you. And if you really want something - I mean really want it - don't let anybody or anything stand in your way!" - to Graham Foster about her time in prison.
"I don't take orders from an ex-prostitute." - to Charity Dingle when she tells her to 'watch her tongue'.