Emmerdale launches its first big storyline for 2020 next week, when Graham Foster is murdered in cold blood by a one of the many villagers with a grudge against the menacing man in black.
The soap makes one of its occasional ventures into non-linear storytelling by replaying the day of Graham’s death from five different perspectives across the week commencing Monday 20th January, ending with Mr Foster’s own point of view on Friday 24th January when the killer’s identity is revealed to viewers.
Here’s our guide to who is a suspect in Graham’s death and what their motives are…
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Kim Tate & Al Chapman
Gruesome Graham’s toxic history with conniving wife (for business reasons only) Kim puts her at the top of the suspects list as the pair have had a love/hate thing going on for years. As Graham plans to leave the country with lover Rhona Goskirk, Kim displays a rare moment vulnerability and begs him to stay and make a proper go of their relationship – and to her surprise, he agrees they could still have a chance. Later discovering he’s leading her on to distract her from the fact he’s secretly been siphoning off funds from the Tate empire, antagonised Kim decides to take no prisoners, and asks Al to have Graham killed off. Without a doubt, she seems like the most likely to be found guilty, but there’s plenty other suspects in the line-up.
High as a kite on cocaine, Jai crashes his car into Graham who quickly realises he’s taken drugs and blabs to Mr Sharma’s shocked girlfriend Laurel Thomas. Word spreads among Jai’s family the recovering addict has fallen off the wagon and his life is in ruins. Blaming Graham for exposing his substance abuse, Jai seeks a deadly revenge. But is it really enough to risk prison for?
Ryan Stocks refuses to help Graham steal from Kim any more, and ends up locked in a hut by the ex-soldier to keep him away from the the tyrannical Tate. When Charity Dingle – who incidentally has planned a surprise wedding that day to fiancée Vanessa Woodfield – finds out her son has been used and abused by Graham, just weeks after he meddled in her relationship with younger offspring Noah who she blames for his drug overdose, she grows obsessed with teaching him a lesson. Furthermore, she has real agency and could be the real culprit behind his killing.
“Charity has more than one motive to do him in,” says Emma Atkins on whether Charity would kill Graham. “It goes right back to when Joe came to the village and Graham was helping him destroy the Dingles. Why does this man hate her family so much? She’s fed up and goes after him, and absolutely could be driven to murder.”
Jamie Tate & Andrea Tate
Graham’s revelation of his one-night stand with Andrea wrecked her marriage to Jamie, and the estranged pair are still at odds when Mr Foster adds more fuel to the fire by telling Kim’s son another big secret about his other half that makes them both want him dead. “Andrea is a survivor which means she could kill,” says Anna Nightingale. “She has a certain level of control of her life again and Graham is the person that could take it all away.”
Alexander Lincoln says of Jamie’s complicated motives: “He’s far more innocent and naive than the rest of the Tates, but with everything that kicks off I definitely think he could have the capacity to murder. I love Jamie getting darker and stronger, it’s really interesting. Graham is like a stepdad to him in a weird way but he triggers this whole situation.”
The mild-mannered chef’s malice towards his ex’s new lover peaks when Rhona lets slip she’s taking their son Leo to France for a new life with Graham. Determined not to lose his son, Marlon sees red – but does Mark Charnock really believe the most sensible of the Dingles really has it in him to take a life?
“Marlon resents the idea of Graham becoming a father figure to Leo. He’s demonised Graham, who he already doesn’t trust, and knowing him and Rhona planned to leave in secret is the last straw. Marlon’s motives could lead him to lose his mind in a confrontation – I think his position is quite justified. The storyline is so well structured, any of the suspects could’ve done it as they are all on an equal footing of loathing for that man!”
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