Rachel Hughes was the daughter of Kate and David Hughes, and the older sister of Mark Hughes. Rachel married Chris Tate and they had a son, Joseph Tate, in 1995.

After divorcing Chris, she fell for teacher Graham Clark who turned out to be evil and during an argument, he pushed her to her death off a cliff. Before her death, Rachel worked out that Graham had killed his first wife.

Storylines Edit

1988-1997: Arrival in Beckindale, affairs and birth of JoeEdit

Rachel arrived in Beckindale in 1988 with her mother Kate and brother Mark after her parents divorced. Her mother began a feud with Joe Sugden in late 1988 after he shot and killed her dog because it was bothering his sheep. However, in early 1989, Joe and Kate fell in love and were married in April that year and Rachel was more accepting of her mother's new relationship unlike her brother Mark who wanted their parents to reconcile.

Rachel began an affair with married man Pete Whiteley on her 18th birthday, in September 1989. He ended it when his wife, Lynn, became pregnant and they moved away from the village. Pete later returned and began seeing Rachel again until he was accidentally run over and killed by Rachel's mother, Kate. Lynn later got her revenge on Rachel by embarking on a relationship with Rachel's former stepfather, Joe and had a one night stand with Rachel's boyfriend Michael.

On 30th December 1993, a plane exploded over Beckindale, killing Rachel's brother, Mark. The disaster also left Chris Tate in a wheelchair. Rachel then began giving Chris swimming lessons and they embarked an affair. Chris's wife Kathy
Rachel, Chris and Joe

Rachel, Chris and baby Joe

saw them kissing on their third wedding anniversary and attacked Rachel, banging her head against a wall. In December 1994, Rachel discovered that she was two months pregnant with Chris's baby and in June 1995, she gave birth to their son, Joseph Mark Tate, on the same day her former stepfather Joe died, naming her son in his honour. Kathy was present when Rachel went into labour and stayed with her on the journey to the hospital as Chris was nowhere to be found. This led to the two women becoming best friends and Rachel named Kathy as Joseph's godmother.

On 7th December 1995, Rachel and Chris got married with Jack Sugden and his wife, Sarah, as witnesses. Chris wanted them to have another child and went for fertility treatment but Rachel secretly went on the pill. Chris and Rachel split up after Chris betrayed Rachel by stealing private information from her work file and Rachel was granted custody of Joseph. In July 1997, Rachel received news that her mother Kate had died of a brain haemorrhage. Rachel then embarked on an affair with Jack Sugden after he comforted her and attended the funeral with her for support. This was her third affair with a married man. However, Jack had no intention of breaking up his marriage and returned to his wife, Sarah.

1998-1999: Meeting Graham and deathEdit

Rachel's death

Rachel falls off a cliff after being pushed by Graham

In 1998, Rachel met schoolteacher Graham Clark, who moved to the village after his wife, Rebecca Clark's suicide. Graham moved into Mill Cottage with Rachel, and began to show a little of his controlling behaviour by doing little things like sorting her CDs. Eventually, this grew, and Graham paid for a makeover for Rachel, making her look like his late wife Rebecca, although at the time Rachel was unaware of what Rebecca looked like. Rachel eventually realised that Graham was controlling her. She even told Eric Pollard that she was thinking of leaving Graham, and on a picnic, Graham proposes to her. She accepts, but in his wallet, she sees a photo of Graham's dead wife and realises this is why he made her dye her hair auburn. Rachel soon decides to try to end their
Jack finds Rachel's body

Jack Sugden finds her lifeless body the next day.

relationship by running away. However, Graham tries to force himself on her, but she tries to flee. Graham corners her on a clifftop. During an argument, Rachel realised that Rebecca didn't kill herself, Graham killed her! Graham panicked and pushed Rachel off the cliff, where she fell several metres to her death, hitting the ground with a sickening crunch.

Graham returned to the village, and asked if anyone knew where she was. He pretended that they got lost when racing each other through the woods. A search party was initiated the following day, with most of the village searching for her. Graham watched as a horrified Jack found Rachel's dead body at the bottom of the cliff. The search party concluded that she must have fallen off a cliff, and the police also believed it. Graham was relieved but feigned grief.


Eric Pollard, having known Rachel for years, didn't believe Graham's lies about Rachel falling off the cliff. He knew that Rachel was planning to leave Graham, so was suspicious that he had pushed her off the cliff. Eric raised his suspicions to Angie Reynolds (overheard by The Woolpack customers), but nobody believed him - except for Marlon Dingle. Realising they were on to him, Graham threatened Eric into backing off, then convinced new girlfriend Kathy Glover to leave the village with him. In 2000, Graham and Kathy were leaving the village. Marlon and Eric broke into Mill Cottage to try to find evidence but were caught by Angie. Eric was unsuccessful in trying to incriminate Graham. Meanwhile, an argument between Kathy and Graham, results in Graham grabbing the wheel, and the car getting stuck on the edge of a cliff. Kathy manages to escape but Graham falls down the cliff with the car, which explodes at the bottom of the beach, killing him instantly. Before his death, Graham had confessed to Kathy that he killed Rachel, which Kathy revealed.

Rachel's death had a profound impact on her son Joseph, as well as Chris' death four years later, leaving Joseph orphaned. Chris' sister Zoe was awarded custody of Joseph and they emigrated to New Zealand in 2005 along with Zoe's daughter Jean. At some point between 2005 and 2017, Joseph took on the alias of Tom Waterhouse and started an internationally successful company. He returned to Emmerdale to exact revenge on Chris' final wife, Charity Dingle, and her family for Charity apparently murdering Chris.

In 2018 Joe said he was 4 years old when his mum Rachel died, and he has very few memories of her.


  • In 1998/1999 Glenda McKay was diagnosed with Bells Palsy. This resulted in her being written out of the show, as it really was quite severe and because they did not know how long it would last, and it could not be written in that her character had contracted it. However, she was perscribed with steroids which seemed to work within two months.


"Hi. And this is Rex" (First line, to Sandie Merrick when introducing her dog Rex)

"She didn't kill herself, did she? You killed her!" (Final lines to Graham Clark)

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

See alsoEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.