Quickly establishing him and his family as ambitious yet cunning entrepreneurs, Tom gained many enemies whilst living in the village.
On Christmas Day 2006 at his wedding reception, Tom was murdered and was pushed from his bedroom window after being hit over the head with an ornament by an unknown assailant, later revealed to be Carl.
Born on the 11th May 1939 into a family of successful businessmen, Tom King grew up in Emmerdale where his father Albert King ran a successful business. As an adult, Tom grew away from the family business and founded his own haulage firm, becoming familiar with fellow businessmen such as Frank Tate and Alan Turner. Tom fell in love with a woman named Mary McSween, and he went onto marry her. From their marriage, they produced four sons: Jimmy, Matthew, Carl and Max. When his sons grew up Tom began running his haulage firm with them (with the exception of Max who became a vet), renaming the firm King & Sons.
Mary became ill with a terminal Brain tumour and Tom hired a nurse Carrie Nicholls, to look after her. Mary eventually died in 1986 and Tom and Carrie began an affair. In 1991, Carrie gave birth to Tom's illegitimate child Scarlett. Tom decided to keep Scarlett a secret from his sons, but he kept in touch with Carrie, offering her financial support by sending her letters containing money in them which Carrie discarded. However, Carrie did allow Tom to pay for Scarlett to attend private school. The last time Tom ever saw Scarlett was when she was aged 1.
2004-2006: Arrival in EmmerdaleEdit
Tom made his first appeared in February 2004. He arrives at the local graveyard to lay flowers on the grave of his late wife Mary, who had died nearly two decades previously. Marlon Dingle was also present laying flowers down on his late wife Tricia's grave. The pair struck up a conversation about their late wives, and Tom also revealed that he had grown up in Emmerdale and was keen to move back. He then saw old friend Alan Turner and they chatted about his NY Estates days. Tom eventually did move back to Emmerdale but had trouble reestablishing his haulage firm King & Sons there. He sent his second youngest son Carl, who worked for the firm, to get a job at local haulage firm Tate Haulage. However, Carl was actually acting as a spy reporting back any inside information at Tate Trash back to his father. Carl managed to find out that Tate Haulage planned to bid for a valuable contract. He told this to his father, prompting Tom to bid for the same contract and win it, finally enabling him to move himself, his family and his haulage firm into Emmerdale. Tom ran King & Sons with his three sons Jimmy, Matthew and Carl along with Jimmy's wife Sadie.
After the Kings established themselves as the new top dogs of the village, replacing the Tates, he employed Charity Tate as his secretary who set had set her sights on the latest millionaire in the village. Charity admitted to her cousin Chas who was shocked that she was after Tom at his age, that she had set her sights on Tom because she missed the rich lifestyle she had had with Chris prior to his death. Chas had asked what she was going to do, with Charity replying she would be pretty dumb lunging herself at the first millionaire that came along, and that’s why she was going to make sure Tom fell for her. Chas asked why she didn't for Matt, young and loaded but Charity refused saying she didn’t fancy him. Chas retorted more like because Tom was old and likely to croak it soon. Charity admitted she was right but wanted someone who would give her what she wanted, money and security and not young enough to want kids again some day and Tom was just that person. Chas asked about love doesn’t that come into it. Charity admitted she didnt love him but he could give her what she wanted, she knew that much. Charity was back to her gold-digging ways and wasn’t bothered about who she hurt to get it. Tom was her next victim. Chas asked what she was going to do to make it all happen, Charity told her, carry on the way she has been, Chas says well I hope it all works out for you but we don't always get what we want to which Charity replied, ‘that depends on who it is and how much they want it!’ Chas says ‘so what are you going to do?’ Charity says ‘Carry on see what makes Tom tick?’ Chas: 'What happens if it's not you?’
Charity: ‘No there’s something there I can feel it, I'll make sure it happens and I won't stop till it does.
She and Chas both laughed at her cunning plan. Slowly and surely, she worked her magic on Tom ensuring he did indeed fall her for her and he made his move one afternoon which she gleeful accepted but covered her tracks by telling him people would immediately say she was only after his money. Tom assured he did not care what people said which made Charity very happy her plan was coming into fruition. Nobody could accuse her of snaring the latest millionaire again, he had gone for her. Sadie was not happy with this latest development.
Tom, however, started to question her fidelity after seeing how she was with her ex Cain and also how she was with his driver Dean. However, when Tom's close friend Roger Dyson died of a heart attack while playing golf with Tom, he began to question his mortality. Deciding that life was too short, Tom proposed to Charity and she accepted, and they held a massive engagement party in The Woolpack. However, Tom's daughter-in-law Sadie was less than impressed, as she was worried that Tom would leave the business to Charity when he retires rather than Jimmy. It is subsequently revealed that Sadie only married Jimmy because she thought that he would inherit the family business, despite being love with Jimmy's brother Matthew. Sadie tried to win Tom over using many tactics. For example, Sadie knew that Tom wanted to buy Home Farm, but its owner Zoe Tate was refusing to sell, so in the meantime, Tom had bought Holdgate Farm, Pear Tree Cottage and Dale View. Sadie blackmailed Zoe into letting Tom buy Home Farm and was successful. However, just as Zoe was leaving the village she set off a timer at Home Farm that went off just as Tom, Jimmy and Max (Tom's youngest son who had arrived in the village for his father's wedding) were arriving. Although none of the three were injured they had to pay a lot of money to have Home Farm refurbished.
The day of the wedding eventually arrived, but just as Tom was about to marry Charity, Sadie arrived at the church and revealed photos of Charity kissing her cousin and former lover Cain Dingle. Tom subsequently jilted Charity at the altar, sparking a massive fight between the Kings and the Dingles. After splitting up with Charity, Tom spiralled into a deep depression. However, Tom was about to discover that he was wrong about Charity. On Jimmy's 40th birthday the Kings held a party at Home Farm. However, during the party Charity marched into Home Farm and played a video of her and Jimmy in bed. In the video, Jimmy admitted to Charity that Sadie had set her up, revealing Charity to be totally innocent and Sadie to be the guilty one. Tom furiously disowned Jimmy and Sadie and begged Charity to take him back. However, Charity refused and subsequently left Emmerdale with her son Noah.
Following the disastrous wedding, Tom's youngest son Max prepared to leave Emmerdale to continue his around-the-world trip with his girlfriend Amy Carter. Bent on trying to get his son to remain in Emmerdale, Tom got local vet Paddy Kirk to give Max a job and in return, Tom will pay him. Paddy agreed with Tom telling Max that if he wants to travel the world he will need some money to keep him financially stable. Max subsequently broke up with Amy and moved into Home Farm with Tom, Matthew and Carl.
Having disowned Jimmy from the family, Tom look set to retire and hand over King & Sons to his second eldest son Matthew, who was also a lot better at handling business deals than Jimmy. However, just as Tom was about to sign a deal that would hand the business over to Matthew, Jimmy arrived and revealed that Matthew and Sadie were having an affair. Tom at first didn't believe Jimmy, but when Sadie gave the wrong impression that she was making a move on Tom, he wrongly assumed that Sadie was in love with him, therefore forcing Matthew to reveal that he and Sadie were in fact in love. Tom made Matthew choose between Sadie and the business. Matthew chose the business and Tom subsequently excluded Sadie and gave Jimmy another chance. However, Sadie wasn't going to give up that easily, and she shrewdly bought a piece of land that the Kings needed, forcing Tom to allow her back into the business. Impressed by how well she had managed to swindle her way back into the firm, Tom made a move on Sadie, but she rejected him leaving him humiliated.
Eventually, Max found out about Tom and Paddy's arrangement and decided to leave Emmerdale. As he was driving out of Emmerdale, Max accidentally ran over Tom who was trying to stop him, leaving Tom in hospital with a broken ankle. Although Jimmy took the blame for the accident as Max had been drinking, Tom disowned Max briefly but eventually forgave him. However Tom still believed that Max owed him and, needing access to a piece of land belonging to the Briggs family, Tom asked Max to poison the Briggs family's cows. Max did so and then decided to flee Emmerdale. However, as Max was leaving Emmerdale he was killed in a car accident caused by Robert Sugden.
Tom was driven half-mad by grief by the death of his youngest son, as the last words he ever said to Max were "You're a disgrace!" Tom had Max buried with his wife and Max's mother Mary. Tom eventually recovered from Max's death but was soon set to end up losing another son, this time not by death. Matthew had started to let his heart rule his head and when Matthew stormed into Sadie's wedding to Alasdair Sinclair, proclaiming his love to her, Tom angrily disowned Matthew. Tom eventually forgave Matthew when he split up with Sadie, shocked at the way she was behaving.
Having retired from the family firm, Tom decided to turn Home Farm into a working estate. Tom hired the help of newcomer Jean Hope, and the pair found each other comfortable to be around. Tom found himself falling for Jean and she subsequently started a relationship with him in order to cover up her relationship with Tom's chauffeur Terry Woods, who was the ex-husband of Jean's daughter. Eventually, Tom found out and, feeling humiliated, sacked both Terry and Jean. However, he later rehired them when he had recovered and supported them both when their relationship went public.
Tom decided to invest in some land in order to have his next project built, The Kings River House, which would be used for the engagement party of Marlon Dingle and Donna Windsor. However unknown to Tom, Sadie in her revenge plot had hired Cain Dingle to smash up a gas pipe that Jimmy had recently had fixed. On the day of Donna and Marlon's engagement party, the house exploded, killing Jean's daughter Dawn Woods alongside two other people; Noreen Bell and David Brown. Most of the village blamed the Kings for the explosion, even though Cain was to blame. Jimmy was arrested as he was the one who fixed the gas pipe which was later destroyed by Cain.
However, Sadie hadn't completely finished in her revenge plot. She and Cain conjured up a plan to kidnap Tom and demand 2.5 million ransom. However, Cain ended up kidnapping both Tom and Sadie and demanding the money from Tom's sons Matthew and Carl. During the kidnapping Cain revealed that he was the one responsible for the Kings River House explosion, angering Tom. Eventually, Cain shot and supposedly killed Sadie, but it was later revealed that Sadie was alive and had been in on the entire kidnapping plot. Tom eventually escaped and Cain fled Emmerdale with the money, but not after betraying Sadie by ditching her at the airfield.
Tom fell in love with and got engaged to Rosemary Sinclair, who only married him to gain possession of his assets. During Tom's engagement to Rosemary, he antagonised her son Grayson upon taunting him about his sexuality. This was also when Tom began to escalate a number of enemies he interactively made in the process. He bullied Carl's girlfriend Chas Dingle into ending their relationship, as he saw her as not being good enough for his son; as well as accusing her of helping out her brother Cain in his kidnapping before discovering her attempt to expose the truth of the Kings River Explosion. He also blackmailed his personal secretary Edna Birch, who had also just uncovered the Kings' cause in the House Collapse, with the knowledge that she was not her son's mother but her aunt. He had already made enemies with Dawn's father Bob Hope, who became motivated into avenging her death by launching a campaign against the Kings, and would later escalate their conflict by offering him a large amount of money in compensation to drop any further action; to which Bob refused to accept even when Tom doubled the offer, only for Jean to secretly take the money and then leave the village with TJ, the child of Terry and Dawn. This allowed Tom to become enemies with Terry, who furiously blamed Tom for his son's departure, while Bob's son Jamie Hope also held a grudge against Tom for Dawn's death and his mother's departure. Edna's friend Len Reynolds, who was secretly in love with her, also resented Tom for what he had done to Edna and clashed with him a few times; one of which followed a brief fist fight that culminated with Len warning Tom that he'll get his comeuppance one day.
Tom subsequently infuriated all three of his remaining sons for the following reasons: Jimmy because he had constantly favoured his brothers over him, Matthew because Tom planned to leave everything to Rosemary other than him, and Carl because Tom had sabotaged his relationship with Chas. Tom soon married Rosemary on Christmas Day 2006, but even angered her when he revealed that she leaves all of her assets to his three sons rather than Grayson. Later on, Tom was struck on the head with an ornament and pushed out of his bedroom window by an unseen assailant. Tom died of a broken neck and a police investigation was launched into a murder inquiry, with possible suspects including Jimmy, Matthew, Carl, Rosemary, Grayson, Chas, Bob, Jamie, Terry and Len. Bob was initially arrested for the murder but later released.
Following his death, Tom's will was read out and in his will, he split his business between his three sons Jimmy, Matthew and Carl and his daughter Scarlett. Scarlett was Tom's illegitimate child born out of the affair he had with his wife's nurse Carrie Nicholls. The three brothers were shocked by the newfound knowledge that they had a half-sister, with Matthew and Carl resenting her.
Eventually, evidence arose that suggested that Jimmy, Matthew and Carl had all conspired to murder their father together. Fake evidence put forward by Hari Prasad and Louise Appleton after being paid to do so by Rosemary suggested that the three brothers had done the crime together. However, Louise eventually withdrew her evidence and confessed to her wrongdoing with Hari getting arrested. However, it is later revealed that although they had gotten away with it, one of the three brothers was guilty. Matthew was convinced Jimmy was guilty, and forced a confession out of him, but Carl eventually admitted to killing Tom. And as the years went by Carl confessed to more locals that he killed his dad up until his own death in 2012. In 2015 Ashley laid flowers at his and Rosemary's grave when Eric visited Val's (who died in a helicopter crash) and Ashley tried to reassure him that his family and friends would still support him whereas Tom never reached out to either before he died.
"My wife liked them too. Especially roses. I always promised myself that if I settled anywhere for long enough, I'd plant some for her. She's been gone a while, 18 years now. I moved away just after she died. We loved this village, but it was never the same without her. When did she die?" (First line, talking to Marlon Dingle at the graveyard)
"You're a disgrace!" (To Max King)
"No need to knock, come in." (Final line heard on screen before getting inadvertently killed by his son Carl)