Christopher Francis "Chris" Tate was the son of Frank and Jean Tate. Initially, Chris was a good man who ran his business fairly, but was left permanently resentful of his life when he was maimed in a plane crash in 1993, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. The character then became much more jaded after his recovery, often using his intelligence and assets to take revenge on who hurt him. The resulting disabilities he had left with made him realise that his wife Kathy only remained with him to fulfil a role of his carer, leading to their divorce. He went on to marry Rachel Hughes in 1995, but his growing lust for money and indifference for everyone else's feelings meant that they had come to an bitter end.
In 2002, Chris was horrified to learn his lesbian sister Zoe Tate had fallen pregnant. Zoe and Chris believed she may have been raped, but when Zoe gave birth to a daughter in January 2003, they decided to welcome the baby into their family. When Scott Windsor was revealed to be the baby's father, Chris ignited a feud with Scott, torching his garage and paying someone to make false rape allegations. Zoe was shocked at the lengths Chris was going and put an end to it, in exchange for Scott signing over his rights to baby Jean.
Chris then wedded former prostitute Charity Dingle in 2001 despite a 12-year age gap and the disapproval of Zoe, but Charity's selfishness and cheating behaviour leads to the deterioration of their relationship. Chris soon learns he has a brain tumour which is impossible to remove, and rather than wait to die, decides to take revenge on Charity for ruining what they had. After ensuring Charity would be left with nothing, he arranges a meeting. Although she claims she is sorry, Chris' last actions are to throw insults at her, before the poison he took kills him.
1989-1993: Arrival and relationship with Kathy MerrickEdit
Chris first appears in November 1989 when his father Frank and stepmother Kim buys Home Farm. He is the managing director of his father's haulage firm. He originally had his own flat in Skipdale, but moved into Home Farm to be closer to his love interest Kathy Merrick.Chris and Frank had a tense relationship, partly due to the death of Chris's mother, Jean, from cancer and Frank's remarriage to his secretary Kim, who was only a few years older than Chris. However, Chris did have a close relationship with his younger sister, Zoe. When Frank admitted he had helped Jean die when she was terminally ill, Chris initially accused Frank and Kim of plotting his mother's death. Chris was also unimpressed when Kim persuaded Frank to have an operation to reverse his vasectomy.
Chris and Kathy began dating and Chris wrote a song for Kathy to sing at a village concert, 'Just This Side of Love' (which was released as a single sung by Malandra Burrows). They briefly split up over Chris's gambling habits after he lost his motorbike in a poker match to Alan Turner. They got back together and married on 5th November 1991. The marriage began to break down a year later when Chris found out Kathy knew that Kim was having an affair with Neil Kincaid. In the row that followed, Chris nearly hit Kathy and later confided in Zoe that he was worried that he had inherited their father's temper. Chris also wanted children and Kathy didn't.
When Frank started drinking heavily again, Chris saw the opportunity to gain control of the business by buying Kim's shares. He mortgaged his and Kathy's cottage to do so, and Kathy only found out when Frank confronted her. As it turned out, Zoe joined forces with Frank to vote down Chris. Kathy, meanwhile, began an affair with Josh Lewis and planned to leave Chris.
1993-1994: Becoming paralysedEdit
On the night of the infamous plane crash of 1993, Chris spent the evening in Skipdale, unaware Kathy was planning to leave him that night. He was supposed to pick up Kathy and meet Zoe in the Woolpack but went straight to the pub and was there when it collapsed. Chris was trapped in the wreckage of the wine bar with his family thinking he was still in Skipdale. He was eventually discovered by Kathy's lover, Josh, and was dug out overnight. He suffered spinal injuries and was left paraplegic.
1994-1997: Relationship with Rachel HughesEdit
Chris was very bitter about being disabled and realised that Kathy was only with him out of duty. He formed a bond with Rachel Hughes, whose brother, Mark, died in the plane crash, and she began giving him swimming lessons. The friendship became an affair and Kathy found out when she saw them kissing on their third wedding anniversary. When Kathy found out Rachel was expecting Chris's child, she threw Chris out of his wheelchair.
Rachel goes into labour prematurely after discovering that her stepfather Joe Sugden had died in a car crash in Spain. She gives birth to a baby boy named Joseph Mark after her stepfather and brother. Chris and Rachel soon fall out with Frank over his interference with Joseph.
In 1997, Chris tries to rape Linda Fowler. New locum vet Paddy Kirk unwittingly tells Linda's father Ned, leading Ned to take the law into his own hands and armed with a shotgun, kidnaps Chris, intent on killing him. The Glovers and Frank intervene and Ned backs down.
1997-1999: Feud with stepmother KimEdit
When Frank died of a heart attack in 1997. Chris was convinced that Kim had killed him. Kelly Windsor seduced Chris in order to pass her unborn baby off as his and get money for an abortion, but Kim pushed Kelly down the stairs causing her to lose the baby. Kim eventually admitted to Chris that she had watched his father die. When Chris tried to blackmail her into giving him custody of Frank and Kim's son James Tate, Kim hit Chris over the head and tipped him out of his wheelchair, pouring whisky over him before escaping with James by helicopter. He was found lying unconscious in front of Home Farm by Seth Armstrong. Rachel later died in May 1999 at the hands of her controlling boyfriend, Graham Clark, leaving Chris custody of Joseph.
1999: Kidnapping ordealEdit
In 1999, Chris was held hostage by an employee, Liam Hammond, who revealed that he was Frank's illegitimate son and Chris's half-brother. Chris eventually formed a bond with Liam and was upset when he was shot dead by Zoe who 'rescuing' Chris. The police suspected that Liam was a secret family member with a grudge but could not prove it, as Chris destroyed the documents showing that Liam was Frank's son.
2000-2003: Relationship with Charity DingleEdit
In 2001, Chris married for a third time, to prostitute Charity Dingle. However, Zoe didn't like Charity and told Charity it was because of her history, but it soon transpired that Zoe fancied Charity herself. She offered Charity money to leave Chris and Charity responded by kissing her. The two then famously had a lesbian affair, which lasted for several months. Charity became alarmed by Zoe's obsessive behaviour and tried to end the fling, but Zoe secretly recorded Charity confessing to the affair on tape and blackmailed her into signing a prenuptial agreement, so she would always have a hold over her. Charity then confessed all to Chris, and he surprised her by forgiving her and ripping up the prenup. He later forgave Zoe after she was diagonised with Schizophrenia.
2003: DemiseEditIn 2003, Chris discovered that Charity had had a baby when she was 13 and given it up adoption, after Emily and Paddy Kirk's 13 year old foster child Debbie Jones claimed she was Charity's daughter. He was shocked to discover that Debbie's father was Charity's cousin Cain Dingle. In later 2003 he threw Charity out after discovering that she had been having an affair with Cain. Learning that he had a brain tumour and only months to live, Chris began frittering away all his money to ensure Charity would be left with nothing. He said a tearful goodbye to Zoe and Joseph and then arranged a meeting with Charity where he poisoned himself in order to frame his wife for his murder. He died on the floor of Home Farm in the same spot where his father had died six years previously. His last word was 'whore'.
After sleeping with her cousin Marlon, Charity discovers she is pregnant. She is unsure of who the father is, but is definitely sure that it was either Chris, Cain or Marlon. In January 2004, Charity is sentenced to life imprisonment. During her sentence, she gives birth to her son and it is subsequently revealed that Chris was the father. Charity strikes a deal with Zoe - she can have custody of Noah in return for £20,000 and evidence that Chris committed suicide. Zoe agrees and Charity is released. Zoe refuses to allow Charity any contact with Noah, who she calls Christopher, and plans to adopt him but permission is refused due to already having two children (her nephew Joseph and her daughter Jean), running Home Farm and her mental health issues. Social services ask Charity to decide if she wants to raise him or put him up for adoption elsewhere. She chooses to raise him and Zoe returns him to Charity.
- Shadrach Dingle, 4th September 2003 (indirectly; accidental) - Chris hires a man to run over Cain Dingle but the man misses and knocks down Shadrach instead.
- Charity Tate, 17th September 2003 - Conspires to kill her by poisoning her but aborts the plan, instead poisoning himself to frame her for his murder.
"Whore" (final line to Charity Tate)