Well that was a shock and a half! Tom Waterhouse is not who he says he is but has in fact been unmasked as Joseph Tate – and he is determined to get his revenge on Charity Dingle, who he blames for the death of his dad Chris.
Long term viewers will recall that Chris, who had a brain tumour at the time, framed Charity for murder after poisoning himself – and Joe is still under the impression that she killed him. With his inheritance as backup, Joe has since made something of himself with the help of his associate Graham Foster but his bitterness against Charity has manifested itself into a revenge plan.
We sat down with actor Ned Porteous – who has been keeping the secret of the character he is actually playing all of this time.
He explained to Metro.co.uk: ‘I was pretty good at holding the secret from my family because my mum is a notorious chatterbox, so the entire time I was telling her there would be a twist, something will come out. She’d ring me once a week like, “You can tell me, what’s the storyline?” I told my dad but he forgot twice! I didn’t tell my mum, she’ll be finding out when the public do.
‘When I was auditioning for it, I did as much research as I could for the character. There was little they were giving me because a lot was embargoed to me too, being a new actor to the show there’s only so much they can give to you before you’re confirmed for it. So I did as much as I could. I can’t wait to walk around the streets of Leeds. I’m gonna be practising wearing a hat and glasses for a while.
‘It’s been a lot to take on, knowing you’re about to play a character who is ultimately going to be not liked that much by a lot of people but I can’t lie, I was really excited to be honest. Everyone knows playing a baddie is way more fun!’
Explaining why Joe is out to get Charity, he continued: ‘The vendetta against Charity started very early in his life due to the fact he is under the assumption that Charity was behind the death of his father. He’s had this chip on his shoulder the whole time. He’s had his whole life to plan his big revenge almost, and this has been brewing all along. He was orphaned very young and has grown up living with this – it’s been boiling and simmering until he finally manages to worm his way back in.
‘He spent the majority of the latter part of his life after he was a young teenager with Graham Foster who he has a very interesting relationship with. They both helped each other at the start, they both kind of saved each other, which you’ll find out more as the story goes on. They develop a bond which is most unlike the others on the show. It’s very paternal but there’s also a business side to it.
‘It’s really interesting chemistry to play with another actor, being the boss but then also have them being the closest thing you’d know to a dad. So that’s been really fun as an actor to play that, mainly it’s been Graham who’s been the parental figure in his life. Through his business and through help with Graham, has managed to turn his inheritance into a bit more than what it was.
‘I think Graham represents the more peaceful morality of Joe and checks him. Joe is in his very early 20s, so there’s a lot of boyish rage which comes out at times and having an adult figure near him comes in handy. He trusts Graham. He’s one of the only people in the world that Joe trusts, so even though he might tell him that he’s wrong sometimes, he will definitely listen to him so Graham has a huge effect on what Tom says and does.’
Since Tom Waterhouse first appeared on the show, fans have been wondering what his game was and there have been all manner of speculation around who he could be and what his big secret has been. And Ned has loved reading all of the fan theories.
He enthused: ‘I love it, especially when a fan theory comes out that isn’t quite right. I try and stay away from it a little bit too much because I don’t trust myself on Twitter. There was one I remember, my mum sent me a message saying “I found out what your secret is” and I thought “How? Nobody else knows.” And she was like “You’re one of the Kings.” I didn’t say yes or no, but it’s been interesting seeing some of the fan theories.
‘There are so many people who adore the show so much. How they manage to remember certain bits and put things together has been fascinating. It’s even nicer to watch on the other side of a phone going “little do you know!”‘
The drama is of course, just beginning and Ned was able to tease what comes next. He explained: ‘There is as much of a showdown as there can be. The beauty and the fun about playing a character like this is he gets to be quite outlandish and say quite mean things because he knows he’s got this protection of number one, his faithful bodyguard and number two, his money. So it’s been really fun to have these confrontations with Charity, these big moments, knowing I can be as sinister as I want to and there won’t be that many repercussions.
‘Emma Atkins, is so so fun to work with that half the time you’re not sure what she thinks. She’s so professional, she can go from doing a really amazing powerful performance and then as soon as we go cut, we can just go back to being Emma. I think she’s lapping up the story as much as everyone else is because there’s so much for her to be giving and so much on her character knowing the reason that all these horrible things are happening to Debbie and the rest of the family are to do with my grudge against her.’
But what else Joseph has in store remains to be seen…