Created 14th February 2003
Updated 26th May 2004
Played by Charley Webb
Appearances to date :-
24 December - 30 December 2002,
Charley Webb won "Best Young Actor of 2003 at the Inside Soap Awards (voted for by the general public) on the 29th September 2003
She is also nominated for "Best Newcomer of 2003" at the "National Television Awards" to be held in October 2003
Three months later it would be revealed that Charity had the child when she was thirteen, 13 years ago. The father of the baby being her cousin Cain Dingle
The girl, turned out to be called Debbie Jones and first showed up in Emmerdale on Christmas Eve 2002 as a foster daughter for Emily and Paddy Kirk for a few days. No one then knew of her true identity.
When Debbie re-appeared in January 2003, she revealed to Cain Dingle that she was adopted and showed him a photo. Over time the whole sorry story has come out.
CHARITY is shocked when Cain confronts her with proof that Debbie is her long-lost daughter.
He forces Charity to return the deeds to the Dingles’ home after showing her Debbie’s precious photo of her. Charity hopes this means Chris will never discover her dark secret, but Debbie wants to meet her mother and the truth comes out anyway.
“Charity is stunned when she sees herself aged 13,” says Emma Atkins, who plays the reluctant mother. “It brings it all back and she knows that Cain has won this battle.
“She insists to Chris that everything is all right after Cain leaves but she’s shattered.
“Charity admits to Zoe that Debbie really is her daughter and she recalls the agony of giving birth at 13. Her friend Pat came to her rescue and registered the baby in her name.”
Charity realises that she has to give the deeds back to an overwhelmed Lisa who is delighted that Charity has seen sense.
“But then she has to tell Chris what she has done,” says Emma. “He’s furious but she explains that Cain was spreading rumours about her.
“She has to admit to Chris that Cain is saying Debbie is her daughter but she insists it’s not true, which surprises Zoe.”
Chris visits the Dingles’ and orders Cain to keep his lies to himself. But Charity’s torment it not over. Debbie turns up at Home Farm.
“Charity is totally speechless at first,” says Emma. “Then she tries to tell Debbie that Cain is lying and she is not her mother.
“Chris backs her up, but Zoe can’t stand what she is hearing and explains to Debbie that Charity really is her mother.
“Chris sees from the look on Charity’s face that it’s true. He’s devastated and so is Charity. She thinks this could be the end.”
Chris angrily turns on Charity and demands to know if Debbie’s father was one of her ‘clients’. She pleads with him that she was only 13 when it happened.
But Chris feels betrayed. He can’t believe that Charity was such a convincing liar and wonders what else she’s lied about.
“Charity tells Debbie that she was forced to give her up because she was so young,” says Emma. “She insists Debbie’s father is dead.
“Debbie is desperate to tell foster parents Paddy and Emily that she has found her mother, but Charity tries to explain to her daughter that they have to keep it a secret.
“Charity warns Debbie that Pat might get into trouble with the authorities if the truth comes out.
“Charity simply refuses to let herself become emotional. She doesn’t want Debbie in her life and she takes her home and coldly tells Chris that Debbie won’t trouble the Tates.”
But Debbie is determined to bond with her mother and skips school to spend time with her even though Charity refuses to respond.
News comes through that Pat has taken a turn for the worse in hospital and Emily takes Debbie off to see her.
“Charity is very shaken by Debbie’s arrival,” says Emma. “But she refuses to show any of her feelings.
“She can’t turn the clock back and she loves the life she has now as the lady of Home Farm. Charity doesn’t want anything to take that away from her, not even a daughter.”
Charity's Adoption Turmoil
Emmerdale's Cain Dingle is set to sink to new depths
DEBBIE gets a shock this week when Cain callously reveals her mother Charity was a prostitute. But the lonely teenager still surprises her mum with a Mother’s Day card and bouquet.
Debbie tells a stunned Charity what she’s learnt. And as mum and daughter talk, foster mother Emily is left desperately worried that Debbie might go back to her real mum.
"The Dingles invite Debbie for a meal," says Charley Webb, who plays the troubled teen.
"Lisa wants to tell her all about the family. But when she visits again and asks about her mum, Cain tells her Charity turned to prostitution after she had her.
"Debbie is upset, but as Emily explains how difficult it must have been for Charity, she understands why she was given away."
Debbie calls at Home Farm, and although Charity is not there, she has a friendly chat with Chris.
"Emily and Paddy do all they can for Debbie," says Charley.
"But she still wants to get to know her real mother. She later gives Charity a Mother’s Day card and flowers, and Chris suggests they go for a walk together."
Emily looks on, deflated and concerned. When mother and daughter are finally alone, Debbie reveals she now knows Charity was a prostitute.
"Charity is very surprised," says Charley. "But it seems to bring them closer together. Debbie is determined to have her real mum back one day."
Cain betrays Charity
TROUBLED teen Debbie faces yet another problem this week when an older boy comes on strong after she sneaks out to a party at the Marsdens’.
Cain comes to the rescue and takes her home, only for the youngster to be caught in the growing feud between foster mother Emily and Charity, her real mum.
“It’s no wonder Debbie’s confused,” says Charley Webb, who plays the 14-year-old. “Emily is thoughtful and kind, but Charity is glamorous and rich and seems more exciting.”
Debbie is desperate to go to the Marsden kids’ party.
“Debbie sneaks out of the house and goes anyway,” says Charley.
“The party is really rocking but an older boy starts coming on to her and she doesn’t know how to handle it. She yells and Cain comes out of nowhere and drags the lad off her. Debbie is scared and she’s really grateful. Then Cain takes her home and Emily is furious.”
Emily tells Debbie that she is grounded, but Charity is more sympathetic and advises her on how to handle men who won’t take no for an answer.
Later, a row breaks out when Emily says Debbie can’t go on a trip to Leeds with Charity.
Debbie rushes to her room in tears but Emily is even more upset and tells Paddy it would be better if Debbie left the village and is cared for by another family.
Charity begins at home'
Emmerdale's Charity Tate will show she has a heart of gold when
she decides to give her daughter Debbie a home.
Debbie (Charley Webb) is distraught when her foster mum Emily Kirk says she can't look after her any more.
Her real mother Charity (Emma Atkins) gave Debbie away as a baby. But Charity can't stand by and watch Debbie head for a children's home.
Emma told the Sun's TVmag: "Charity can't believe that Emily has sent her daughter Debbie packing. She demands to know what is going on and has a row with Emily for giving up on Debbie."
But Emily (Kate McGregor) believes she can't look after Debbie properly with her real mother interfering.
Emma added: "Charity just blurts out that Debbie should stay with her. I think she's surprised to hear herself saying it."
Luckily, Charity's husband Chris (Peter Amory) really likes Debbie and her arrival brings out a softer side in the hard-nosed businessman.
Emma added: "Charity is delighted when Debbie moves in. She goes to great lengths to make her daughter feel happy."
Charity also encourages Debbie to make up with Emily. However, nothing can hide Emily's sense of desolation.
Foster parents Paddy and Emily Kirk have decided they can no longer cope with the heartbreak and jealousy caused by the renewed relationship between the pair. When Charity discovers their decision she goes ballistic and has a furious row with the couple.
However, only Charity herself can mend the situation – but will she decide that it is time to welcome Debbie into Home Farm?
Emma Atkins – who plays Charity – is convinced she will do the right thing.
She says, “At first Charity found the prospect of being a mother very daunting. She just wanted Debbie out of her life. But now there is a bond growing between them, and Charity is taking responsibility for her actions at last.”
Charity was furious when she found out that Paddy and Emily put Debbie back into care. And she decided to take matters into her own hands.
However, her decision to offer her daughter a home could cause shock waves through the village.
Emma Atkins, who plays the feisty Tate, says, "It's an impulsive response. She's not actually weighed up the pros and cons. But that's Charity all over.
"She thinks husband Chris may be angry with her for making a decision without consulting him first. But Charity is adamant that her husband will be fine with it.
"And her sister-in-law Zoe, wonders if it really is the best thing for everybody."
Will the duo – separated for so long - now be able to play happy families?
Raising Cain at Home Farm
HAPPY Families is one game that’s definitely off the agenda at Home Farm as Cain makes the most of his relationship with Debbie to cause trouble between Chris and Charity.
The conniving Dingle uses his daughter’s first official visit to upset the Tates’ social plans.
“Chris hated him long before he found out Cain was Debbie’s father,” says Peter Amory, who plays the crippled businessman.
“He thinks Cain is a low-life waster, and Chris is still struggling to accept that Cain and Charity were lovers.”
At their first proper meeting as father and daughter, Cain teaches Debbie the guitar and is delighted to find that he has caused serious friction at Home Farm.
Cain deliberately plans a late tea so that when Charity arrives to collect Debbie, she’s not ready. A furious Chris ends up having to go to a business dinner on his own.
Later, Debbie hears Chris and Charity arguing and tells her father. Cain goes to Home Farm to lecture the stunned Tates about how to behave in front of his daughter.
“Chris is livid,” says Peter. “He is frustrated that he can’t give Cain a good thrashing, and he has to call for Terry to throw him out.
“He insists that Cain will never set foot inside his house again.
Mark of Cain on Debbie
Cain causes trouble for Charity and Chris when he gets involved in a heated row over Debbie playing truant from school.
Chris is seething when Cain and Charity talk over Debbie’s problems with her headteacher. And he’s more upset when Debbie demands a day out with just Cain and Charity before she’ll agree to toe the line.
The week opens with Charity receiving a phone call from the school about Debbie’s skiving.
“Charity finds Debbie at the Dingles’ house when she should be at school,” says Emma Atkins, who plays the mixed-up mum.
“And she has a real go at Cain. But when Charity and Chris go in to see the head, Cain turns up and Chris gets pushed out.
“It’s a nightmare situation but Charity wants to do the best by her daughter, and she seems to be tearing herself in two trying to keep everyone happy.
“She can see Chris is getting more upset by the situation, but there’s nothing she can do.”
Debbie’s day trip deal is accepted, but Chris tries to persuade Charity and Debbie to go to EuroDisney instead of to the Yorkshire Moors with Cain.
“It’s unfair of Chris,” says Emma, “trying to force Debbie to choose.”
Chris is angry and jealous when Charity’s day out with Debbie and Cain turns into an overnight stay.
Charity makes it clear to Cain they will not sleep together but Chris is still bitterly suspicious.
Rows escalate at Home Farm, but there’s a shock for everyone when baby Jean is badly injured after being hit by a falling iron.
"It’s a bad end to a disastrous week in Chris’s eyes," says Peter Amory, who plays the harassed head of the household. "He feels as if he is losing Charity and there’s nothing he can do."
Charity and Cain do start to bond with Debbie on their day out. When Cain shows Charity their initials still carved on a rock, she admits she loved him back when they were teenagers.
Debbie is delighted her plan to get her parents back together is working but when they get to the car, Cain ‘discovers’ he has lost his keys.
"Chris is just admitting his doubts to Terry when she rings to say they’re stranded on the Moors," reveals Peter. "When they get back, he accuses Charity of having an affair with Cain.
"He gets drunk and admits to his wife that he is scared of losing her."
Despite having the full support of mum Charity, Debbie is distraught that Chris could even think that she could have done anything to hurt his tiny niece.
Predictably, Debbie runs to her erstwhile father, Cain Dingle, as the bad atmosphere gets too much for her. Cain is stunned that Debbie wants to get away from her life of luxury at Tate Farm and demands to know what is wrong.
And as soon as he discovers the truth, Cain marches round to confront his nemesis.
Debbie – who already worships her father – is delighted at how quickly Cain has jumped in to protect her. It sets her thinking that perhaps life with her mum and Chris is not what she really wants.
Will Debbie ever find her way to a quiet life?
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