yer average everyday millionaire lesbian vet..."
Bracknell - Zoe Tate from the TV soap Emmerdale -
is the most popular telly personality surfers come
here searching for. We're only too happy to oblige...
The one programme that always made you think "Hmm,
I must have some maths homework to do". All cowpats,
sheep dip and Amos Brierley mutton-chopped landlords
who don't serve strangers. Dry stone walled characters
just waiting around for the inevitable wipe-em-all-out
Then suddenly a brand spanking Land Rover purrs into
view driven by a vision in Burberry. Zoe Tate. The
most gorgeous apparition ever to stick her hand up
a cows arse!
I know it's all about ratings and market demographics
and five-nights a week domination of the peak time
telly. Since Granada took over our Yorkshire Telly
(Corrie wigs and Bette Lynch earrings in tow) the
telly 'zecs have had to turn up the heat a little.
So out go the sleepy coffin-dodging curtain-twitching
chicken-pluckers and in comes the sex, the intrigue,
the corruption, and rumpy in the bushes.
If anything the survival of Zoe Tate through all this
is quite remarkable.
The fun started back in the late eighties when
Carlton, the new London TV company, threatened to
kick the show off southern schedules unless ratings
improved. In came Brookside and Grange Hill supremo
Phil Redmond to quite literally smash the cozy old
Emmerdale Farm mind-set to bits. He dropped a passing
747 on the place in '93 in a game attempt to kill
off half the cast - Zoe's brother Chris Tate was put
in a wheelchair, Beckindale village, the Woolpack
pub, Sugden farm and most of the plotlines were all
reduced to rubble. Our Zoe avoided the whole thing
somehow - as did most of the shellshocked regulars
- emerging from the rubble to wonder what on earth
the script writers were going to pull next. Zoe had
come out as a lesbian over the summer, after a series
of well dodgy (and pretty scuzzy) boyfriends. She
was having quite a year...
then Zoe's private shenaneggans have provided the
more compelling aspects of Emmerdale's increasingly
daft and yoof oriented plotlines. Devoted gals tell
me that of all the outed pouters she's the most realistic
and believable. She moved in with interior designer
Emma Nightingale and there was all the hoo-hah over
THAT KISS, pre-dating Anna Friel's Brookside snog
by a good year or so. Then there was that rape attempt
by that farmer and then ex-lover Suzie took Emma away
just as they were about to get hitched. There was
another steady - Sophie - and some other lass called
Jude. Oh and then she discovered her father
Frank's body and there was that whole Kim Tate murder
mystery suspense thing. Don't even mention
the flirtation with married women Becky Cairns, that
kidnap by the long-lost brother when she shot and
killed (you DO get away with murder on the soaps...)
and the burning of the evidence.
of course, it's all about gorgeous pouting prozzie
Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) and the three-cornered
love affair that everyone's talking about. Brother
Chris proposes, Charidee accepts and Zoe is devastated.
Blah blah blah.
what keeps Leah Bracknell (the actress behind this
Zoe Tate woman) number one in the telly totty stakes
with so much local competition about? Emmerdale
has had a breathtaking array of womanhood over the
years. For a while there it even matched the heyday
of Coronation Street (All fur coat and no knickers
in the Elsie Tanner era) for pure older-woman girl-next-door
bitch-queen glamour. Not for nothing has the show
gotten a reputation for sensation and outrage - the
women are usually right in the thick of it, immaculate
the 90's the Emmerdale broads were led by the Uberblondes:
Ever-stillettoed Kim Tate (Clare King, who later took
the character on to even greater bitchery in 'Bad
Girls') who after a couple of hundred affairs - one
with the farm hand - killed her father-in-law and
of course cutesie cafe owner with a heart of gold
Kathy Glover was played by tabloid fave Malandra Burrows
- a focus of lusty obsession by impressionable young
lads for close on fifteen years. After proudly picking
up a Best Soap BAFTA for YTV last year Mal was sacked
and poor long-suffering Kathy was packed off down
under. Not murdered or arrested or blown-up, in the
fashion. She left with a whimper, Neighbours style
- leaving the door on the sneck for a grand comeback
if the plucky independent pop-star-serious-actress
lark doesn't pay off and Emmy ratings slump.
In reality actress 37 year old actress Leah Bracknell
is a world away from Malandra style TV Guide spectaculars
or Lad Mag tease shots. Daughter of Children's Film
Foundation director David Bracknell she had been limited
to bit parts in shows like The Bill and The Cannon
and Ball Show before joining Emmerdale in '89. She's
married to TV director Lyall Watson and has two young
daughters. She has absolutely no plans to join some
Nu Metal band and splatter herself all over the papers.
Perhaps it's her serious attitude towards career and
character that hits the spot and keeps her a cut above.
can try to get into the young un's with their sex
and drugs lifestyles and teen-queen attitudes . There's
Adele Silva steaming up the screen, Amy Nuttall getting
into Loaded Magazine's top 100 babes, and Emma Atkins
keeping the Dingles dangling. And some of you are
getting rather hot under the collar about buxom young
Vicky Binns after recieving racy skinnydipping pics
via email lately. After randy Mandy set the tone (sadly
now in Primetime Heaven) chunky chicks are clearly
all the rage. But it's still the classy older broads
that get the pulse really racing. Zoe Tate
is still our favourite lesbian millionaire vet.
mate Gaz wants to buy a goat just so Zoe can roar
up in the Land Rover and go into that doe-eyed Vet
Spice barnside manner just for him. Dream on, Mate.
Zoe's strictly green wellie material.
to reader Glen Mason for putting our facts straight
early on! Top Man.)