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While he did at first appear to have been killed off it transpired he had actually gone into hiding in Monte Carlo.
It looked like Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough) had done away with Joe but really he was just helping his friend make his escape.
Now, fans think Debbie will be leaving to meet up with Joe in the future.
Could she leave her family behind to pursue her love?
One fan has guessed on Twitter: “At one point Debbie will meet up again with Joe.”
“Debbie Gets tickets for the Monaco F1 from a client at the Garage? Then who does she bump into? JOE 🙂 just a thawt #emmerdale,” another theorised.
A third shared: “I’m telling y’all – Debbie will conveniently not care about Sarah’s health again, dump the kids with family, and go chasing after Joe. He’ll then be killed in a freak yachting accident on the French Riviera and she’ll come back.”
“I’m thinking Debbie has known all along that Joe was alive and had to pretend she didn’t,” a fourth suggested.
It doesn’t look as though Joe will ever be coming back to the village so it would make sense that Debbie would go to him.
Ned won’t be making a full return to the soap any time soon.
A source told The Sun: “Ned just filmed a few scenes, it’s not like he’ll be back in the soap full-time,” says the insider.
“Joe won’t be returning to the village. Ned is still determined to crack the US and has been auditioning for roles in Hollywood.”
Graham star Andrew has revealed the truth behind why the character was so devastated when Joe left when he knew he was alive all along.
The actor revealed: ”The reason why Graham was very upset when Joe seemingly died is because he knew then that he would never see Joe again.”
Debbie’s departure comes as actress Charley is pregnant with her third child with fellow Emmerdale actor Matthew Wolfenden.
The pair already have two sons and will be expanding their brood later this year.
She spilled her happy news in an Instagram photo earlier this year featuring herself, Matthew and sons Buster and Bowie.
The family were joined by a sign that read “Buster, Bowie and…” while she captioned the snap “#Number3”.
Emmerdale continues tonight at 7pm on ITV.