Created 10th January 2004
Updated 22nd May 2004

Zoë Tate & Leah Bracknell
News Archive

Leah Bracknell official Emmerdale Fan card used from 2003 onwards

BBC Puresap 13th January 2003

Leah Bracknell who plays Zoe

Can Zoe steel herself to give up her baby?

Does Zoe Tate have the strength of will to give up the baby she is carrying almost as soon as it is born?

Can she avoid bonding with the child and putting herself through even more heartache than she has already suffered?

Fans of Emmerdale will be tuning in to see if Zoe, played by Leah Bracknell, remains as determined once she has the little mite in her arms.

Zoe has it all planned - an elective Caesarean section to deliver the child who will be quickly whisked off to adoptive parents.

She reasons that if she treats the birth as an operation she will have little chance of bonding with the baby and can get back to normal as soon as possible.

In an ironic twist Scott Windsor, her driver and - though she doesn't know it - the baby's father, is forced to take her to hospital and stay with her until Chris and Charity arrive.
The plans go awry when doctors tell her she will have to give birth naturally. When the child - a girl - is born, Zoe can't resist cradling her in her arms.

Zoe is affected by the birth far more than she ever anticipated. What chance adoption now?

Leah refused to give away the ending but did say: "I think Zoe will find the adoption issue far more difficult in practice than in theory."

The Sun 18th January 2003

Zoe gives birth to a daughter Jean, but will she keep her?


Weekdays ITV

AFTER a false alarm and a traumatic labour, Zoe has a baby girl, and is determined to give her daughter up for adoption.

The week opens with Zoe hit by agonising back pains. She’s sure she’s going into labour and Scott takes her to hospital.

“But it’s a false alarm,” explains Leah Bracknell, who plays the reluctant mother.

“Zoe just wants to get the whole thing over with, but everyone seems to be interfering and trying to persuade her to keep the baby. She is furious when Chris and Charity get Chloe to keep an eye on her.

“She is really determined that her baby will be adopted. She insists that she is fine and even suggests going shopping for baby clothes to prove that she can handle it.”

Scott agrees to drive Zoe to the baby shop and is horrified when an assistant assumes he is the proud father-to-be.

“When they get back, Zoe has more back pains but she just shrugs them off as another false alarm,” says Leah.

“But she soon realises this is the real thing and starts to pack her bag. She tries to call for a taxi but can’t get one.

“She is just starting to panic when Chloe returns and asks Scott to give them a lift.”

But Scott is overwhelmed by the thought of Zoe giving birth to his child and can’t do it. Chloe and Zoe manage to get a taxi.

“Zoe arrives at the hospital too late for a Caesarean,” says Leah. “And has no choice but to deliver naturally.

“She is scared but relieved when the baby is born. But then the doctors rush the child away with breathing difficulties.

“When they bring her back, Zoe still does not want to hold her daughter. But she gives in and gives the baby a name, calling her Jean.

“Chris is moved that Zoe chose their mother’s name, but Zoe claims it’s the first name that came into her head.

“She never wanted to be a mother and has no idea who the father is. Now at last she can start her life again.”

BBC Puresoap 21st February 2003

Zoe and Chloe take on tot

Emmerdale's lesbian schizophrenic vet is to be a single mum after deciding to keep her baby.
Vetinary surgeon Zoe, played by actress Leah Bracknell, will decide to take on the baby, rather than put it up for adoption.

The father, Scott Windsor, will be pleased that he can see baby Jean whenever he likes.
Zoe, who believes she was raped while ill but really let Scott sleep with her, will not make it easy for him though.

His gorgeous lover Chloe is applying for the nanny job, which could effectively freeze Scott out of the picture.

BBC Pure Soap News 25 March 2003

Heartbreak for Emmerdale s Chloe
Amy Nuttal who plays Chloe

Emmerdale's Chloe Atkinson is in for heartbreak when she discovers the true father of Zoe Tate's baby - her boyfriend Scott Windsor.

Chloe, played by Amy Nuttal, has no idea Scott has been playing away from home and happily acts as nanny to Zoe's daughter Jean.

Zoe is also in the dark about who the father is. The lesbian vet suffers from mental problems and can't ever remember making love with a man.

The village has been alive with rumours about who the father could be, particularly after Zoe surprised everyone by deciding to keep the baby despite previously insisting she would give her up for adoption.

But when the truth is finally revealed Chloe is devastated. She knows Jean was conceived when Zoe was drunk and mentally disturbed. She believes Scott, played by Ben Freeman, took advantage of her and is little better than a rapist.

The plot will see Amy taking a break from Emmerdale for a time so she can concentrate on her stage and singing career.


Zoe’s Date

Thursday | 17.04.03


Emmerdale’s Zoe Tate is getting back in the dating game.
The pretty vet has had a very troubled year but is finally feeling able to enjoy her life and meet new people.

Zoe’s life has changed dramatically in the last year. Her mental health problems led her into danger and misery and when she finally felt better she found out she was pregnant. She was horrified as she thought that because she was a lesbian it couldn’t have been consensual sex.

However, Zoe managed to come to terms with what happened and is now happily raising baby Jean and has gone back to work.

Now, having arranged to meet for a drink with new veterinary drug rep Kate, Zoe is feeling her old self again.

With Chloe’s help, Zoe gets all dressed up for her big night out.

But will the evening go as well as she hopes?

Zoe and Kate - another doomed relationship from 2003

ITV.COM Secrets and lies

Thursday | 12.06.03

Chloe , Scott and Jean

Baby Jean Tate's christening is an eventful day in Emmerdale.
The tiny tot is at the centre of a paternity riddle and no-one in the village suspects Scott Windsor is Jean's father.

But because of his relationship with girlfriend Chloe – who is Jean's nanny – the reluctant dad is one of those invited to the rite of passage ceremony.

And the pressure of his dark secret and his blossoming feelings for his daughter lead the hunky mechanic to allow himself a tender paternal moment with his tiny daughter.

But has Scott got the strength to keep his revelation to himself? The strain of not confiding in those nearest to him about the difficult situation – and being around his daughter so much – is taking its toll on Scott.

But with his girlfriend Chloe doing everything she can to lure his best friend Syd into a steamy affair, and his mother Viv being the village gossip, is there anyone Scott can trust with this information?

The Sun 11th July 2003

Zoe meets the father of her baby - pictured from LtoR Zoe, Chris, Viv, Bob and Scott


Weekdays ITV1

SECRET dad Scott stuns the whole village when he admits he is the father of Zoe’s baby, Jean. Zoe is unable to remember a second of their one-night stand and she is mortified. Chris accuses Scott of rape and calls in the police.

And the revelation causes an angry split between Scott and girlfriend Chloe, and his so-called mate Syd.

“Yet in the end it’s a relief for Scott when the truth comes tumbling out,” says Ben Freeman, who plays the guilt-stricken young mechanic.

“He has to speak up because baby Jean is very poorly in hospital and Scott is terrified that she is going to be taken into care.”

When doctors discover Jean has suffered two injuries, social services are alerted for a full investigation. Zoe is shattered when quizzed about her baby, and her schizophrenia, and Scott is distraught when he realises he might never see his daughter again.

“Scott turns to his mum,” says Ben. “Viv is shocked but she is on his side. They rush with Bob to the hospital to claim Jean.”

The nurses contact Zoe and tell her the baby’s father has turned up and she hurries to the hospital for the shock of her life.

“Chris accuses Scott of raping his sister but Scott says angrily that Zoe drunkenly came on to him after Chris asked him to take her home,” says Ben.

“Scott is interviewed by the police. And he insists that the sex with Zoe was consensual.”

Chloe is gobsmacked when Scott confesses to her that he is Zoe’s father. But then Chloe retaliates by admitting her affair with his mate Syd.

“It’s yet another shock in an unforgettable week,” says Ben.
“ Scott lashes out at Syd but he is still reeling. The only thing he is sure of is that he wants to be a father to baby Jean.”


The Windsor War

Friday | 11.07.03

Emmerdale love cheat Scott Windsor faces a terrible dilemma tonight.

The hunky mechanic is distraught when he hears that secret daughter Jean Tate is in hospital and in a very serious condition.

And what Scott doesn’t know is that it was the actions of his careless girlfriend Chloe that contributed to the incident.

Baby Jean has already fallen from a kitchen table while Chloe tried to seduce flatmate Syd Woolfe with a raunchy lap dance. And matters are made worse tonight when mum Zoe leaves her for a second and a lamp falls on top of her.

The accident sees the tiny Tate rushed to casualty, where doctors have to do some complicated surgery to save her life.

When Scott hears he realises that this could be his only chance to be there for his daughter.

But actor Ben Freeman - who plays the heart-throb - explains the choice isn’t simple: “If the truth were to come out Scott’s life would be a living nightmare. The Tates aren’t a good family to mess with - Chris would be out for revenge and then, of course, Zoe would feel betrayed because her and Scott used to be friends.

“Also, Chloe would probably leave him and the whole village could turn against him - it’d be awful living in Emmerdale with no allies.”

Is baby Jean worth the risk?


Tuesday | 15.07.03

Emmerdale's Zoe Tate faces the hardest test of her life.
The Beckindale beauty is under suspicion of abusing her baby daughter Jean, after a tragic accident left the tot fighting for life.

And Zoe, who has endured a serious bout of mental illness in the last year, is the prime suspect in the eyes of social services - after doctor's discovered old injuries on the young girl.

Tonight, as Zoe is investigated by the agency, it is left to the real culprit to own up to Jean's injuries. However, guilty nanny Chloe Atkinson has no intention of telling the truth.

Despite the fact it was Chloe's negligence which led Jean to fall and hurt herself a couple of weeks ago, the sexy local refuses to come clean - much to the disgust of part-time lover Syd Woolfe.

Syd can't believe that Chloe would allow Zoe to be held responsible and Jean to be taken into care. But Chloe is too busy looking out for herself to take his words to heart.

Will Zoe lose Jean through no fault of her own?

I'm The Daddy

Wednesday | 16.07.03


Emmerdale’s Scott Windsor admits he is Jean's father at last.
As rumours of Zoe's alleged child abuse spread through the village, the guilty dad decides it's time to confront his parental responsibilities.

Poor Scott has to hear the allegations against the mother of his child from his own gossiping mum Viv.

But her delight in the information soon turns to horror as she understands that her precious son is embroiled in the scandal.

And against her motherly instincts, she begins to question how events unfolded on the night of Jean's conception. It is common knowledge that Zoe has no idea who the father of her baby daughter is. She was suffering from a schizophrenic episode when they had sex, and has believed for months that she may have been the victim of a rape.

But Scott knows that, although Zoe was drunk, the raunchy episode took place with her consent and is horrified that even his own mother thinks he could be capable of rape.

But the showdown between Scott and Viv is nothing compared to the drama unfolding at the hospital. Scott barges into see Jean and to protect her from being taken into care. The nurses contact Zoe to tell her that a man is here claiming to be her daughter's dad.

How will she react when she comes face to face with the truth?



Confession Time

Friday | 18.07.03


The net is closing in on Emmerdale's Chloe Atkinson tonight.

Cheating Chloe has been trying to cover up her part in baby Jean's accident because she is scared of the criminal repercussions.

But with social services swarming around the hospital threatening to take Jean away from mum Zoe, events have taken a traumatic turn for everyone involved.

Zoe is in a terrible state after discovering Chloe's boyfriend Scott Windsor is her baby's father, Scott is in shock that the truth is out and Chloe is desperately trying to keep herself out of the picture.

Chloe's cowardly behaviour has stunned her secret lover Syd Woolfe. The kindly workman can't bear to see Zoe and Jean pay for her mistakes, and feels partly responsible for the mess. Jean's cracked rib was the result of Chloe's carelessness as she and Syd got steamy on the sofa.

And it is brave Syd who finally blows the whistle on his lady love.

Actress Amy Nuttall, who plays the nightmare nanny, says, "Zoe asks Chloe about her daughter's injuries, but Chloe just couldn't tell her. When Syd reveals what happened, Zoe is furious.

"Chloe's very worried as she knows she could face prosecution but she is just thinking of herself."

ITV.COM Scott Free

Tuesday | 19.08.03

Scott and Zoe

Emmerdale's Zoe Tate is beginning to doubt Scott Windsor's guilt.

The lesbian vet was convinced that Scott raped her when she was mentally ill and that he had also attacked stripper Yolanda.

Zoe has been struggling to cope ever since the revelation that Scott is the father of her baby daughter Jean surfaced. Although, the hunky mechanic had never been anything but kind to Zoe and her tiny daughter - she couldn't understand why she would have willingly had sex with him.

So when pole dancer Yolanda appeared last week and claimed Scott had raped and beaten her, Zoe was sure that finally the truth would be proven.

However, the one-time schizophrenic still has no memory of the alleged 'attack' Scott made against her and decides to speak to Yolanda to see if she can help her remember.

Will Yolanda convince Zoe that Scott is a rapist

ITV.COM Innocence and Experience

Wednesday | 20.08.03

Emmerdale's Scott Windsor finds support in an unlikely source tonight.

The sexy mechanic is now facing two accusations of rape but someone other than the local police is investigating the matter further.

Zoe Tate - who is convinced she was a victim of Scott's sexual aggression - is determined to discover the truth behind pole dancer Yolanda Howie's accusations in a bid to remember her own ordeal.

But when Zoe comes face to face with her fellow 'victim', she begins to realise that Yolanda has something to hide - and it could be the key to proving Scott's innocence.

Actress Leah Bracknell - who plays the lesbian vet - explains, "Zoe feels that something is not quite right, but she can't quite put her finger on it. However, when she confronts Yolanda herself she realises that someone's paid her to say Scott raped her, and Zoe knows that the only person who would do that is her brother Chris."

How will Zoe deal with her unscrupulous


Decision Impossible

Thursday | 21.08.03

Scott being arrested

Emmerdale love cheat Scott Windsor faces an impossible dilemma.

Scott is accused of rape by two women but one offers him a way out of the charges - for a price.

In the course of the last few days Zoe Tate - the mother of Scott's daughter Jean - has established that pole dancer Yolanda is being paid to make the allegations against him. The brave vet realises that despite her reluctance to believe it, it is very possible that their raunchy encounter was nothing more than a mistake - and not the rape she feared.

The trauma is not over for either Scott or Zoe though. Having realised that brother Chris is the man behind the plot to frame Scott for rape, Zoe is forced to read him the riot act, having no idea that he could be terminally ill.

However, despite knowing the truth, Zoe has no intention of wasting the power she holds over Scott.

Actress Leah Bracknell, who plays the local, explains, "Zoe offers Scott a deal - she will get the charges against him dropped if he promises to stay out of Jean's life.

"He accepts but whether Zoe cuts Scott out of her daughter's life or not, it still doesn't change the fact that he is Jean's biological father, and I have a feeling we could well see the whole situation rearing up again in the near future."


Truth Time

Thursday | 11.09.03

Emmerdale's Zoe Tate returns home to the Home Farm nightmare.

Vet Zoe has been holidaying in America with daughter Jean and is surprised to learn that Chris and Charity have split up.

Her brother's bizarre behaviour has been the cause of much anger in the last few weeks. Zoe left for New York vowing never to speak to him again after he tried to frame Jean's father Scott Windsor for rape.

But when she discovers that Chris has been made a fool of by Charity, she rushes to her brother's side to comfort him. Chris is elated to see his sister but after she makes it clear that their problems are far from resolved, he decides to come clean.

The terminally ill businessman reveals his tragic secret to horrified Zoe and tells her she is better off leaving Home Farm and getting on with her own life away from him.

Can volatile Zoe cope with a tragedy of this scale?


Talent Show Trauma

Thursday | 18.09.03

Bob in fancy dress and Eddie in drag

Emmerdale's talent show ends in terrible tragedy for the villagers.

Wacky brothers Eddie and Bob Hope delight the Woolpack punters with their high camp show but a horror incident is unfolding elsewhere.

Village vicar Ashley Thomas has been worrying all week that the event will be a resounding failure after failing to secure any definite acts. But, unable to resist the lure of the stage, Bob and his brother decide to update their classic show - complete with leopardskin outfits and fake moustaches.

The hilarious sight distracts attention from Sam Dingle's lamentable impression of a bird and everybody is having a whale of a time - until the police arrive.

Shocked Zoe Tate is taken outside to be told that there has been a death at Home Farm and has to be escorted back to the vicarage by Ashley. As the news spreads, Terry Woods breaks down devastated that he might have prevented the incident.

But, while Emmerdale's shocked locals try to take in the tragedy, the police are working hard to establish what exactly happened at Home Farm.

And start to suspect foul play...

BBC Pure Soap 2nd January 2004

No calm after the storm

Fans of Emmerdale will hardly have time to draw breath before the Dales soap is plunged into hot new storylines in the New Year.

Following the storm that devastated the village on New Year's Eve, the producers have a whole new set of characters and plot twists lined up.

Juiciest amongst them is a change of personality for Zoe Tate, the schizophrenic vet who turns into a super bitch in order to nail Charity.

Although Zoe now knows that Charity is innocent of Chris's murder, she still wants to see her go on trial, and backed by a tidy pile from Chris's legacy she is determined to get her way.
Producer Steve Frost told Inside Soap magazine: "Before Zoe was always very concerned with her morality and image.

" But having gone through the trauma of mental illness, she feels she has nothing else to lose."
Steve also promised the arrival of new characters who will be 'power brokers' in the show.
And there is likely to be a love triangle involving Katie Addyman and brothers Robert and Andy Sugden.

BBC Pure Soap 4th January 2004

How far will Scott go to see Jean?

Hunky Scott Windsor has been going all out to impress Zoe Tate with his skills as a dad lately, and it seems as if his efforts have finally paid off when she asks him to look after their daughter, Jean.

However, in true Emmerdale style, there's a catch - when Scott comes to pick Jean up, he finds out he has to work as Jack has taken the day off. The mood sours between Scott and Zoe when he insists he's going to see his daughter anyway and Zoe orders him to go to work.
Scott sees red and starts a row with Jack but it backfires when Jack resigns. A livid Scott then tells Zoe to pack in her job too as he thinks she's just using Jean to get him to do work for her.

Things reach boiling point after a drunken Scott arrives at a party Bob and Viv Hope have thrown for their granddaughter and chucks a cake they made for Jean at the wall.
Ben Freeman, who plays Scott, told Inside Soap: "The morning after, Scott sees Zoe but she ignores him, so he goes to Home Farm to confront her.

" But he finds Jean alone while Zoe is in another room and instinctively, he grabs Jean and runs off!"
A mad panic follows after Scott is seen driving off with Jean and Zoe is convinced he'll flee the country with their daughter. At last he comes back but tries to make a second dash with Jean when Zoe tries to grab her.

Ben said: "At this stage, Scott is so desperate to be with Jean that he runs into the garage at Home Farm with her and won't come out. He only steps outside when the police arrive and ask what's going on!"

So is this the end of Scott's chance at having a relationship with his daughter?

Ben added: "Well, it doesn't look too good! But they both have Jean's best interests at heart so let's hope they can come to a compromise ..."

ITV.COM Scott Loses The Plot

Tuesday | 06.01.04

Emmerdale's Scott Windsor is in a state of emotional turmoil.
Sick of being treated like a slave by employer Zoe Tate, Scott is determined to teach the business tycoon a serious lesson.

Zoe and Scott have been at loggerheads ever since it was revealed that he is the father of her baby daughter Jean. In an effort to get close to his beloved little one, Scott agreed to work at Home Farm under Zoe's juristiction but their relationship has hit an all-time low.

Cruel Zoe keeps promising Scott he can spend quality time with his daughter and then revoking it and following the dramatic events of Monday, the former bad boy decides to seize his chance.

Actor Ben Freeman explains, "The morning after, Scott sees Zoe but she ignores him, so he goes to Home Farm to confront her. But he finds Jean alone while Zoe is in another room and

The Sun's Weekly Guide To Emmerdale - 3rd January 2004



SCOTT kidnaps baby Jean when he and Zoe clash over their daughter.

He refuses to give Jean back, even after the police are called. But the little girl is eventually reunited with her mum, and Zoe and Scott reach an understanding.

The row starts when Zoe tells Scott to help with her business instead of taking Jean to her first birthday party, planned by his mum Viv.

"Scott says Zoe is using Jean to make him work for her," says Ben Freeman, who plays him. "He tells her she can stick the job."

Next day, Scott finds Jean alone at Home Farm. He grabs her and drives off. Zoe calls the police, but when she gets to Scott’s garage she helps him, as she feels she drove him to it.

"At the garage, Scott refuses to hand Jean back until Zoe agrees to let him see her more," says Ben. "When the police arrive, Zoe saves Scott by saying she forgot Jean was with him."

Zoe then tells Scott that he can have more access. When Scott returns Jean to Home Farm on Friday, Zoe admits she finds it difficult living there alone.

"Scott stays for a chat and a glass of wine," says Ben. "But who knows what’s going to happen between them, if anything. Watch this space.

The Sun's Weekly Guide to Emmerdale 8th January 2004


WITH just days to go until she’s tried for husband Chris’s murder, innocent Charity fights desperately for her freedom.

And fists also fly between Scott and Cain when they side with Zoe and Charity, respectively.

"Charity is beginning to despair," says Emma Atkins, who plays her.

"She knows that, as an ex-prostitute with a millionaire husband who ended up poisoned, she is hardly going to look good in court."

After failing to get Chris’s friend Terry on her side, Zoe moves on to charm Scott.

She lets him stay in a flat at Home Farm, so long as she can go through the things he’ll say when he testifies.

Just after Scott moves in, Cain goes to the farm to insist Zoe tell the truth about how Chris died. Scott defends her and lunges at Cain, who floors Scott with a punch.

"Charity is horrified. Cain has made things worse," says Emma.

"Charity goes herself to appeal to Zoe. She doesn’t get much change out of her, but as she’s leaving she tells Scott that Chris killed himself and reminds him of how Chris framed him for rape."

As he realises Charity could be innocent, Scott asks Zoe for the truth. She tells him that, guilty or not, she wants Charity in jail for wrecking Chris’s life.

"It’s an agonising week," says Emma. "Charity’s so scared."

ITV.COM Fists Fly

Wednesday | 14.01.04

Emmerdale's Cain and Scott come to blows at Home Farm.

The hunky locals get violent after Cain goes to the plush estate to beg Zoe Tate to drop her vendetta against Charity.

As the trial to decide whether Charity murdered her wealthy husband - and Zoe's brother - Chris Tate, the main players on both sides are getting increasingly desperate.

And having seen the devastating effect of the stress on pregnant Charity, Cain decides to take matters into his own hands. But when he arrives at Home Farm, things get ugly.

Cain makes a nasty comment about Zoe's employee Scott being a rapist, which pushes the furious land manager to throw the first punch and Cain responds by flooring him. Then he tells Zoe to watch her back too.

But when Scott suggests that he and Zoe take the incident to the police, the devious vet tells him to forget about it - leading him to wonder what she's hiding.

Leah Bracknell - who plays the volatile Zoe - says, "Cain eventually leaves - but Zoe refuses to call the police. This arouses Scott's suspicions - he confronts Zoe about what she really believes happened to Chris. She fobs him off, saying she doesn't want the police digging around in her affairs and rocking the boat any more."

Cover Story: Zoe gets more like her evil brother every day;Emmerdale's Leah Bracknell reveals why she is ready to play hardwith scheming Charity.(Features)

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland); 1/18/2004


Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell claims yoga provides her with the perfect escape from her screen alter-ego, schizophrenic vet Zoe Tate.

At the end of a long hard day's filming, Leah, 39, likes nothing better than meditating at home amid the soft light of candles and the smell of burning incense.

And the stunning actress deserves to relax after a hard day on set playing Zoe who is also a lesbian and a single mum as she's usually involved in the Dales-set soap's biggest story lines.

This week she's right in the thick of it again when her screen sister-in-law and former lover Charity (Emma Atkins) goes on trial for the murder of her brother Chris Tate (Peter Amory).

The court case is the biggest in the soap's history and is a week-long white knuckle ride with plenty of dramatic twists and turns, not least being Charity's attempt to seduce star witness Zoe and persuade her to plead her innocence to the jury.

It doesn't quite compare to Henry Fonda's pleas to his fellow jurors in classic courtroom drama 12 Angry Men. But it does result in one furious vet who ends up hell-bent on revenge.

Leah revealed: ''Charity can't go too low, can she? There's no depth to which she won't sink but I think Zoe will play just as hard. She can give as good as she gets.

''They do share a kiss but it's not the start of something this time. It's Charity playing on Zoe and trying to make her change her story in court.

''But I'm sure there's mileage in their relationship you can't take pills for something like that.

''They are great characters and because they have a history you have no idea whether they are using each other or not.

''It's a transitional period for Zoe. She's got her illness under control, she's had the death of herb rot her to deal with and we've got the outcome of the trial to come.

''What happens after that is one big question mark. But whatever happens to Charity will have a huge impact on Zoe.

''Does she stay in control of the Tate haulage empire? Charity's pregnant so what happens with the baby? Is it Chris's? There's still a lot to go for in 2004.''

The jury may be out on Charity's future in the hit soap but Leah is practically a lifer in the Dales.

She's been in Emmerdale for 14 years and is now one of the show's longest-serving stars a fact which still takes her by surprise.

She said: ''I frequently count the years with disbelief and astonishment. It's one of those things where they give you a nine-month contract in 1989 and you think, 'Great, was waitressing two weeks ago and didn't have any money so it's nice to get offered a job'. Then suddenly it's 14 years later.

''I remember when I joined seeing people who had been here 15 or 20 years and thinking would never do that.

''But it goes fast if you are having fun and getting good story lines. You grow up with the people around you and both the cast and crew are a lovely bunch of people. It's not hard to stay.''

Leah admitted she has no intention of moving on and has just signed a new contract. Her long-term future in the village is secure for some time yet especially as Zoe shows no signs of putting her feet up.

As well as her ongoing love/hate relationship with Charity, burying her brother and taking over the running of his haulage business, she is also the mother of a baby fathered by the young village mechanic she barely knows and coping with schizophrenia.

She said: ''It's been an eventful couple of years. They always like to present me with challenges and it certainly keeps me off the streets.

''It's nice to be in the thick of things. mean, I like animals but if had just been consigned to the vet's all this time wouldn't be here. But as long as they set me challenges and I have had a few why walk away? It would be daft.

''I like the way Zoe's developing at the minute. I think people thought she might have gone under after Chris died perhaps become ill again and not be able to cope.

''But she's done the opposite and emerged on the other side more like him than ever. She's got the manipulative Tate blood running through herveins. I like to see that because underneath it all she can be quite a person she's very much got these two sides to her. It's enjoyable to play them both.''

Leah's portrayal of Zoe's descent into mental illness earned her critical plaudits and won her the Best Actress gong at last year's Soap Awards, breaking the EastEnders and Coronation Street stranglehold.

But despite picking up so much praise for her portrayal of Zoe's torment, Leah revealed she has no great desire to perform such harrowing scenes again in the near future.

She said: ''The writers did such a good and sensitive job with Zoe's illness that there would be no point in going down that path again.

''You've seen her at rock bottom, you've seenthe impact it has on her friends and family, you've seen what it's like to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

''But schizophrenia doesn't go away she's on medication all the time and if she stops taking medication it can come back.

''It was very interesting, eye-opening and challenging to do and I would be concerned if they suddenly dropped it altogether.

''It's not gone away, it's part of her. She has the occasional wobble and people still mention it in the village but that's right, that's how people do react to it.''

But when playing the vet gets too much, Leah can always turn to her love of yoga to help her unwind and stay fit.

She has even released her first fitness video, Yoga and You, which was filmed in Ibiza. And she is her own best advert for it. Leah, 39, is a mother of two daughters Lily, 11, and Maya, six who radiates good health.

It's a measure of her enthusiasm that she has even released it, as she usually prefers to keep a low profile away from the glare of soap stardom.

She said: ''I'm not a great one for the celebrity lifestyle. I just come in and do my job.

''It's very odd to think that when you walk out of the door people think they know who you are. It's certainly not what I would have planned for myself.

''But I am happy and I'm delighted with this video. It's taken me a long time but I've finally got another string to my bow.''

COPYRIGHT 2004 Scottish Daily Record &Sunday

The Sun 2nd January 2004

Shape up with TV's Zoe

Fitness fan ... Leah will be answering your keep fit questions


SHE may be a busy mum of two - but Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell still manages to find time for exercise.

The star, who plays vet Zoe Tate in the ITV1 soap, is a massive fan of yoga, having discovered it three years ago.

She may best known as lesbian Zoe but away from Emmerdale, 40-year-old Leah likes nothing better than keeping fit.

In fact, the actress is such a big fan of her favourite hobby that she's even training to be a yoga instructor!

And to encourage others to take up the relaxation technique, Leah has put together her own workout video, YOGA AND YOU.

Featuring five different routines, the plan is ideal for beginners who want to take it up but are unsure where to start.

And you can find out more about Leah's tips for staying in shape when she comes into the Sun Online for a chat.

Simply email your questions to

Yoga And You with Leah Bracknell is out now.

The Sun 9th January 2004

Yoga And You with Leah Bracknell is out now.

TV Zoe: Why I love yoga By SINEAD O'NEILL

ITV.COM True Lies

Thursday | 15.01.04


Emmerdale hunk Scott Windsor begins to doubt Charity Tate's guilt.

The onetime mechanic is horrified at the prospect that his employer Zoe may be trying to frame her sister-in-law simply out of spite.

Scott's suspicions are triggered when an increasingly desperate Charity comes to see Zoe at Home Farm. Witnessing Zoe's harsh treatment of her former lover, Scott is mystified as to why there is such bad feeling between the pair.

And when Charity tells Scott that she believes the volatile vet is deliberately trying to send her away for life, Scott begins to wonder if she is right.

Having been framed by vengeful Chris Tate for rape, after the late tycoon discovered that he fathered Zoe's baby during a drunken one night stand, Scott is no stranger to injustice.

So when he quizzes Zoe and she coolly informs him that she intends to punish Charity for wrecking her beloved brother's life, Scott realises that there is every possibility that Charity is innocent.

And with the tide turning on Zoe's hate campaign, is there hope for Charity after all?

ITV.COM Tate & Guile

Tuesday | 20.01.04

Emmerdale's Charity Tate is forced to take some drastic action.

The pregnant murder suspect faces a bleak future as the second day of her trial dawns. But there is one woman can help her.

Ever since her husband Chris Tate died in mysterious circumstances, Charity has been convinced his sister Zoe holds the key to her freedom. However, since vengeful Chris masterminded a foolproof scheme to frame his cheating wife, Zoe has been reluctant to believe that Charity didn't poison her brother in order to get her hands on his money.

So far, bitter Zoe has refused to allow pregnant Charity's pleas to move her - but a passionate moment leads her to soften her stance.

Actress Emma Atkins, who plays desperate Charity, explains, "Charity's main intention is to influence Zoe's testimony by appealing to her better nature, but soon changes her tactics.

"She tries to seduce Zoe and they end up kissing! There is a chemistry between the pair, and for Charity this could help swing Zoe into her favour for the trial."

Will Zoe allow Charity to manipulate her yet again?


Soft Scott?

Tuesday | 10.02.04

Emmerdale's employer Zoe Tate finds Scott Windsor an unconvincing hardman.

The troubled vet has launched a war against local family The Dingles but is finding they are much tougher than she imagined.

When Zoe ordered employee Scott to frame Sam Dingle for theft, he gladly did it - but the incident put him on the wrong side of patriarch Zak Dingle.

Now Scott is sporting a shiner, and Zoe starts to wonder if she picked the right man for the job. But Scott is determined to prove himself to his former fling.

Actor Ben Freeman - who plays Scott - explains, "Scott's normally a law unto himself but lately he has more than one reason to stay loyal to his employer Zoe Tate.

"But it's all for the love of his daughter Jean, whom he has with Zoe. Zoe's paying him a huge wage, and the Tates are a respected company in the village. Scott thinks by keeping in with them, he's on to a winner.

"I think he'll continue being Zoe's lapdog for some time yet - he's enjoying himself too much!"


Tate Trouble

Thursday | 19.02.04

Emmerdale's Tate empire is faltering under its new ruler Zoe.

The hugely-profitable haulage business has hit trouble after the vengeful vet decided to get her revenge on troublesome local family the Dingles.

Since Zoe's emotional testimony at sister-in-law Charity's murder trial got the former prostitute sent down for life, relations between the two families have hit an all time low.

And after her employee Scott Windsor was given the job of framing unwitting Sam Dingle for robbery, a state of all-out war has been declared by the rough-and-ready clan.

So when Zoe gets a phonecall to tell her that one of the Tate trucks has been run off the road by a mystery antagoniser, she immediately identifies patriarch Zak Dingle as the culprit.

But with no evidence and an increasingly unstable workforce to handle, Zoe starts to wonder if putting Scott in charge of such a daunting project was the right decision after all.

Has the hunky local made himself dispensable at Home Farm?

Extract from The Sun's Weekly Guide To the Soaps - 29th February 2004,,2001330006-2004091133_3,00.html


Sun to Fri - ITV1


THE Tate family’s long-standing domination of the village is threatened this week by Tom King and his sons Carl, Jimmy and Matthew.

The new rivals snatch the crucial waste contract from under Zoe’s nose and finally reveal themselves as serious rivals for control of the area.

Tom is played by Ken Farrington, once known as Coronation Street’s Billy Walker.

"It’s a great way to come into the show," says Ken, who played Annie Walker’s hot-tempered son for 23 years.

"Tom goes back a long way with the Tates. He’s rich, ambitious and ruthless, and he’s determined to take over."

Zoe catches Tom lurking outside Home Farm and is suspicious until Tom explains he once worked with her father.

Then he reveals that he wants to buy the farm and is prepared to pay over the odds. She snaps that it’s not for sale.

Zoe is more worried about the recent vandalism and calls in the police. Scott tells them that Zak Dingle is the most likely culprit.

However, Zak has a good alibi and Zoe and Scott realise that he’s innocent.

They also become aware that they face a formidable, but unnamed, opponent for the council waste contract, so Zoe works hard on her offer.

Carl tells Jimmy that the Tates are changing their bid and Jimmy works on their own figures.

"The King tender wins out in the end," says Ken. "But Tom still has his ambitions set on Home Farm."

The Kings negotiate to buy the Tate Trash trucks and when Scott discovers that Carl is one of the King family who was working undercover, he loses his temper and smashes him in the face.

Extract From The Sun's Weekly Guide To The Soaps 22nd March 2004
Zoe, Charity and the baby


Sun to Fri - ITV1

After months of wondering, Charity finally finds out just who is the father of her baby as the result of the paternity test arrives.

That bombshell comes as Charity reels from the news that premature Noah is so ill his chances of survival are only 50/50 and that he might need surgery.

Zoe is sure that her late brother, Chris, is the dad, making Noah a Tate. Cain is convinced the test will prove he is the father, while grief-stricken Marlon worries it could be him.

"But Charity is more concerned with Noah's health," says Emma Atkins, who plays Chris's jailbird widow. "She's shocked when the doctors tell her Noah has necrotising entercolitis, a condition which can sometimes affect premature babies.

"Noah needs antibiotics and an X-ray, and Charity is distressed to hear they might have to operate, even though he is so tiny."

Charity is distraught, and the Dingles hold a family vigil at Noah's bedside. As if things weren't bad enough, Zoe racks up the tension when she arrives to visit the baby she says might be her nephew.

Zak tries to ring Cain to let him know what is happening, but he gets into trouble for using a mobile phone in the hospital.

"The nurse says they will have to operate if Noah doesn't improve soon," says Emma.

"The next day, the doctor says it looks as if there is no alternative to an operation and Charity wonders if it is worth putting Noah through such an ordeal. But the doctor insists there is still hope."

Back at the Dingles', the results of the paternity test arrive. Zak is about to rip the envelope open when Lisa tells him that Charity should be first to read it. While the Dingles are on their way over, Marlon arrives at the hospital to visit Noah, much to Charity's surprise.

"They are just talking when Cain is brought in, handcuffed to a guard," says Emma. "Typically, he starts a row with Marlon as soon as he arrives.

"Marlon says that if Noah is his, he'll adopt him. Cain then starts insisting that Noah is definitely his son and he's not going to let anyone adopt him. But then Lisa, Zak and Debbie arrive with the paternity test results. It's a major shock for everyone when they discover who Noah's dad really is

Extract from The Mirror's Weekly Guide to the Soaps:-


Emmerdale ITV1, Sun-Fri

By Tony Stewart,

Apart from being told the pub has run out of beer and the social has cancelled their Giro, these are the words the Dingles most feared.

'Tate DNA match - positive,' Zak read in the hospital, proving that Charity's deceased husband is baby Noah's father. 'Chris's all along,' Marlon, one of the other two possible fathers, sighed. 'You can almost see him laughing.'

So how come nobody is smiling, least of all the infant?

Rejected by his maternal family because of Zak's twisted logic that ''is blood is tainted', and fighting for his life in an incubator, Noah's fate now becomes the key to his mother's freedom. In a saga that has echoes of Corrie's Twisted Tracy selling Amy, there seems to be a wicked cattle trade in human misery in rural Yorkshire, too.

And it couldn't get much worse as Charity signs a contract for Noah's lesbian aunt to adopt him. In return, she waives her rights to the Tate millions, Zoe agrees to testify at her appeal to overturn her wrongful conviction for murdering Chris - and then bung in a cash bonus of £10,000.

Extract from The Sun's Weekly Guide To The Soaps - 28th March 2004


Sun to Fri - ITV1


THERE'S nothing Zoe Tate would like better than for her brother Chris’s widow Charity to rot in jail for the rest of her days.

They may still share the same surname but Zoe now hates her sister-in-law with a passion because of the way she treated Chris before his suicide.

But the DNA tests proving Chris is the father of Charity’s baby, Noah, have left Zoe in turmoil.

She knows she has to cut a deal with her arch-enemy, so she offers to change her evidence at Charity’s appeal in return for full custody of her nephew.

" Zoe hates the idea of Charity walking free, but feels she must care for her brother’s son," says Leah Bracknell, who plays the cold-hearted businesswoman.

Charity is thrilled, until Zoe insists she must also give up all claims on the Tate estate - and never see Noah again.

" Zoe is determined to bring Noah up where he belongs," says Leah. "It’s a tense negotiation. Zoe meets Charity at the hospital and offers her the papers to sign. Charity first tells her to go to hell, but then caves in. But Charity makes Zoe admit she knows Chris killed himself, and demands £10,000 before she signs.

" Zoe is delighted. Noah is a Tate and Zoe knows that this is what Chris would have wanted her to do," says Leah. "She wants Charity right out of Noah’s life. She intends to make sure that he never has anything to do with his wicked natural mother."

ITV.COM Baby Bargain

Monday | 29.03.04

Emmerdale’s Zoe Tate’s behaviour reaches a new low this week.

The volatile vet has transformed into a hard-nosed businesswoman since brother Chris’s untimely death, shocking those who know her to the core.

On discovering that Chris has fathered his jailbird wife Charity’s baby son Noah, Zoe is determined to bring the tot into the Tate empire - by buying him.

Knowing Charity can no longer bear the injustice of being convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Zoe offers to change her damning evidence. But in exchange for Charity’s freedom, Zoe intends to take Noah and bring him up herself at Home Farm.

So it is with great shock that Zoe realises Charity cannot be bought quite so easily. Although she agreed to meet the cruel businesswoman, when Zoe arrives Charity tells her to stick the deal and insists her son means more to her than her freedom.

But when Zoe comes up with a new incentive of £10,000 plus her freedom to lure Charity into signing little Noah over, can the desperate Dingle resist the new offer?

Click here: The Sun Newspaper Online - UK's biggest selling newspaper -,,2001320029-2004232431,00.html

The Sun 22nd May 2004

Emma surprises Zoe with a visit on the 30th May 2004

Hello, petal ... Emma surprises
ex-lover Zoe with bouquet

GAY vet Zoe Tate is to be thrown into a bizarre love triangle when her first lesbian lover returns — just as she is falling for hunky Scott Windsor.

Zoe (Leah Bracknell) is stunned when Emma Nightingale (Rachel Ambler) returns after eight years away.

The pair became famous for sharing Emmerdale’s first lesbian kiss in 1995.

An show insider said: “Emma sends Zoe a letter. It’s a blast from the past, but it’s even more of a shock when she turns up at her home with a big bunch of flowers.”

Scott (Ben Freeman) is living in a flat at Home Farm, near Zoe and their baby daughter Jean.

But the source said: “Zoe is starting to get closer to Scott. They have kissed and they’re becoming more like a little family — but Emma could ruin all of this.”

Emma returns on May 30. An ITV1 show spokeswoman said: “You will have to wait and see who Zoe goes for.”

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