The ITV soap’s star made his debut in the village as the mysterious businessman Tom Waterhouse, who developed an intense connection with local mother-of-two Debbie Dingle (played by Charley Webb) very quickly.
Horrifying scenes eventually revealed that the shady billionaire was in fact a grown up Joe Tate, who last made his appearance at Home Farm back in 2005.
In a recent Twitter Q&A with the former EastEnders actor, he revealed that he doesn’t want any other of Joe’s family members to turn up back on the Yorkshire Dales, and he’s enjoying the drama alone.
He posted cheekily: “There’s only room in this town for one Tate! N x @NedPorteous #AskTate #Emmerdale.”
Joe’s butler Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough) was also present in the conversation, but declined to answer the original question from Digital Spy.
Ned’s comments will come as a surprise to some fans, who have been convinced that the legendary Kim Tate (Claire King) is due for another stint on the hugely-popular programme.
The star’s exit from the channel’s rival soap Coronation Street culminated with a devastating end to Erica Holroyd’s relationship with local corner shop owner Dev Alahan (Jimmi Harkishin) after she cheated with mechanic Kevin Webster.
Following her departure, the actress then hinted that she could be coming back to Emmerdale in the near future.
“It’s one of those things, isn’t it?” she teased. “I think the rumours started because the family in Emmerdale are moving out and I happen to be leaving Corrie at the same time.
“People have put two and two together I guess – but I will say this, the door to Emmerdale is not locked. So never say never!”
Meanwhile, Steve Halliwell, who plays the soap’s stalwart Zak Dingle, has let slip that Joe may not be in the village for long if the result of the golf course plans is a sign of what’s to come.
“The producers knew we would be worried and they brought us in to say, ‘Look, don’t worry, it’s not gonna be forever’,” the 63-year-old revealed to Daily Star Online at a recent press event.
He continued: “I’m not going to tell you how it resolves itself, but they said, ‘Don’t worry, we’re not knocking the Dingles’ down really’. To reassure us, the boss did that.
“I’d gone up to ask about future storylines, so our producer Iain MacLeod then told me that this was going to happen – and he reassured me.”
Jane Cox (Lisa Dingle) echoed her on-screen husband’s thoughts when she shared her feelings about the set being destroyed, saying: “I would [be upset]. I think the viewers would as well, it’s kind of iconic, isn’t it?”