1995-2005: Early life and becoming an orphanEdit
Rachel gave birth to 6lb 2oz Joseph five weeks prematurely on 8th June 1995 with the aid of Chris' soon to be ex-wife Kathy. Rachel named her son Joseph Mark after her step-father Joe Sugden, who had died a few days prior, and her late brother Mark Hughes. Kathy became Joseph’s godmother. Chris' father Frank was disappointed that Chris and Rachel didn't get married before their son was born so when Joseph was six months old, Rachel and Chris tied the knot in secret. Chris and Rachel split after less than a year of marriage due to disagreements about family planning. Joseph went to live with Rachel and had regular visits with Chris.
In May 1999, Rachel was murdered by her boyfriend Graham Clark so Joseph went to live with Chris. A few years later, Chris married former prostitute Charity Dingle and Joseph was sent to boarding school. In 2003, whilst Chris and Charity's marriage was on the rocks, Chris learned he had an incurable brain tumor. Chris knew Charity was having an affair with her cousin Cain so he committed suicide and framed Charity for his murder, leaving Joseph an orphan. Pregnant Charity was found guilty of Chris' murder, but was acquitted after she agreed to give Chris' sister Zoe custody of her and Chris' newborn son Noah in return for the evidence that would clear her. Charity later took back custody of Noah. In September 2005, Joseph emigrated to New Zealand with Zoe and her young daughter Jean.
2005-2017: School yearsEdit
Growing up, Joe started to develop attachment issues. When he was 15 he locked his headmaster in a cupboard. One night, after school groundskeeper Graham Foster had drunkenly set his hut on fire, Joe saved him and they soon bonded. Graham became a father figure in his life and Zoe made him Joe's guardian to prevent him from being expelled.
2017-: Life as Tom WaterhouseEdit
By 2017 Joseph, now known as Joe, had returned to Yorkshire and had used his substantial inheritance to set up Waterhouse International. Under the alias of Tom Waterhouse, he contacted Charity's daughter Debbie Dingle about hiring her Bentley. Whilst Charity and Debbie were in a meeting with Tom's right hand man Graham Foster, their Bentley was stolen. Tom gifted Debbie a new Bentley and they soon began a relationship. Tom lavished Debbie with expensive gifts and even bought Jacobs Fold for her and her children Sarah and Jack to live in. Against Graham's advice, Tom gave Debbie a job. On her first day at Waterhouse International, Debbie discovered Tom was behind the Dale Woods Golf Course project which was trying to force the demolition of Debbie's family's home to make way for an access road. Debbie forgave Tom as he spun her a tale about only finding out the project would affect her family when it was too late, lying he kept it all from her because he didn't want to lose her. Charity was suspicious of Tom so she set off the fire alarm at his office building and searched his office where she found his passport and discovered Tom was lying about his identity - he was really her former step-son Joseph Tate. Charity tried to warn Debbie but Joe intercepted Charity's call and sent Graham to stall Charity. Whilst Graham was keeping Charity busy, Joe arranged for the Bentley to be taken away and for Debbie's belongings to be moved out of Jacobs Fold. Joe revealed to perplexed Debbie that he was really Joseph Tate, she was just collateral damage in his quest to get revenge on Charity for his father's death. Joe then bought back his childhood home of Home Farm.
- Joe was a shareholder in Emmerdale Farm as his step-great-grandmother Annie Sugden gave him some shares when he was born.
- Joe "caught" the flower bouquet at his mother Rachel's wedding to his father Chris in December 1995.
- Joe supports Leeds United.
- "If you're going to back a horse, Ross... always back the thoroughbred, not the inbred." (to Ross Barton about Debbie Dingle)