Emmerdale star Ned Porteous has bowed out from the show after an eventful one-year stint as Joe Tate.
Joe was killed off in Thursday night’s episodes (October 11) as the deadly combination of Cain’s rage and Graham’s loyalty to Kim marked the end of his reign at Home Farm.
Here, Ned reflects on his time with Emmerdale and how he feels about saying goodbye to the cast.
This is Soapland so let’s just check – is Joe Tate really dead and gone?
“Yes and such a lot happened in those last episodes. You saw Cain strike Joe to the ground. Joe took a very serious wound to the head and it initially appeared he was dead. Graham appeared to think so too, up until that pinnacle moment when his finger twitched in the car, so that blow to the head on the rock didn’t actually kill him.
“However, Graham knew he had to get rid of Joe. It looks like he was the one that ultimately ended Joe, but Cain unwittingly thinks it was him who killed him. So will Cain take the fall for it?”
How did it feel filming those last scenes?
“It was tremendously exciting filming all of this last bit to the story, as there had been a lot of build-up to this point. We knew the course of this storyline for a good deal of weeks beforehand, so we had a lot of time to emotionally prepare for what was going on in the scripts.
“But I think I personally just focused on the work and concentrated on just producing some really good final scenes. I don’t suppose I really had thought too much about the fact I was actually going to be leaving and maybe I wasn’t quite emotionally prepared – but everyone was just so bloody lovely on my last day, so it was a little emotional.”
What are your future plans?
“I want to move back to London and I want to do a bit of travelling. I haven’t had a holiday for a very long time, so I’m desperate first to get out to America. I’ve got management out there so I want to try my hand with the American casting system and then go on a little holiday. I think I will turn my phone off, go climbing, go camping, go fishing.”
Was it fun playing the role?
“Well, I feel like I had a chance to play two characters whilst I was on Emmerdale. Firstly, I had the Tom Waterhouse character and then the big reveal of the pseudonym. So I suppose Joe managed to pack a lot of drama in during his short time in the village!”
Did you enjoy keeping those secrets from the audience?
“That is one of the best things about working in a recurring drama like a soap. The fact there are so many little twists and turns constantly, which keep the characters and the storylines so fresh.
“It’s fun on Emmerdale to get the new script in and go: ‘Oh wow, what are we going to be doing this week?’ Plus trying to keep it all as much as a secret as possible, as that is what the viewers want. They want the surprise, they want the drama.”
Was it hard keeping your exit a secret?
“Yes and no. Of course people are always stopping you and asking you what is going on in your storyline. It is one of the main things about working on a show like this, that you are constantly keeping your storyline secret. I think it’s for the benefit of everyone. It just becomes part of what you do and it becomes quite easy.”
Who will you miss most on the cast or crew?
“Oh you can’t ask me that! So many – just so many.”
Did you take any souvenirs when you left?
“I actually didn’t take anything in the end, but I did have my eye on a few bits of costume I wanted to grab. Due to the last couple of days being spent working away on location, I didn’t have time to organise it. I ended up just filming the scenes then saying my goodbyes to everyone. I then moved my stuff and moved down to London.
“Thankfully a few of the cast got me some really lovely thoughtful going away gifts, so I will be able to keep them forever and cherish them. So that was really nice.”
What are your fondest memories?
“Without sounding cheesy, there are so many. I suppose the most memorable are when we had the opportunity to do something so different. One of the most memorable was when we did the quarry cliff stunt out at Chorley, that was two amazing days as it felt really different.
“We were away from normal Emmerdale and were out on location. We were all staying together at a hotel and it felt like we were all on a sort of action-filled school trip. That was so much fun. It has been amazing to film things like that.”
Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.
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