What is Emmerdale newbie Tom's big secret? 8 theories

Johnathon Hughes
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

Emmerdale gets a touch of class this week as suave newcomer Tom Waterhouse rolls into town, turning Debbie Dingle's head as she tries to clinch a lucrative deal with the tasty tycoon for him to hire one of her luxury motors.

It doesn't take a genius to work out this pair will soon be mixing business with pleasure, but there's a real air of mystery surrounding the wealthy Mr Waterhouse and his 'manservant' (what is this, Downton Abbey?) Graham Foster.

We've been warned that Debbie's encounter with the entrepreneur could spell danger and land her in an even deeper financial mess than she already is, and Dales head honcho Iain MacLeod has been bigging up the newbies' intriguing backstory, which is set to unravel in the coming months.

There's definitely more to this posh pair than meets the eye, so we're getting in there first with some early theories on what deep, dark secrets they've got in their closet. Which is probably a massive walk-in mirrored closet full of designer clothes and dead shiny shoes because they're so filthy rich…

1. They're father and son

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Although Graham is Tom's employee, and has been described as Alfred to Tom's Bruce Wayne (no, Tom's secret isn't that he's a superhero who dresses as a bat. At least we don't think it is…), they've apparently been in each other's lives for a long time. MacLeod described them as more like family members than business partners and has spoken of their "paternal bond" – could they be father and son?

As yet there's no mention of any parents for Mr Waterhouse. But why keep quiet about it? Unless Tom doesn't even know. Are we heading for a "You ain't my father…"/"Yes I am!" moment? (in posher accents, obvs).

2. They once covered up a murder

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Something quite sinister happened when the pair were younger that united them. According to MacLeod: "They met at boarding school. An incident, that comes to light later on, occurred where something big happened – one of them was involved in rescuing the other and since then there's been this loyalty and a closeness. It created a debt between them, emotionally speaking."

Hmm, anyone else getting a murderous vibe here? Did one of them accidentally cause a death and the other helped cover it up, creating a deadly pact?

3. Tom has an obsession with Debbie

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Anyone else think it was a bit weird how Graham met with Debbie first before allowing her an audience with his boss? Like he was checking her out? Perhaps Tom noticed the comely Debbie from afar ages ago and has been planning an elaborate wooing strategy for months.

Did he deliberately send his butler out to track her down and bring her to his penthouse? We know he'll be trying to melt the cold heart of the Emmerdale ice maiden, but you know what these lonely millionaires are like – what if he's an obsessed weirdo who thinks he can buy her affections and locks her up in his creepy mansion?

4. Tom is a long-lost Dingle

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Maybe it wasn't just Debbie that Tom was seeking out – what if he's got a secret link to the Dingles? Could he be a long-lost member of the clan who was adopted into a rich family and wants to trace his roots, Who Do You Think You Are? style?

Is Tom the Dingle that made good? Could he be Charity's long-lost son? Don't worry, him and Debbie could still get it on, you know how the Dingles love to keep it in the family (eww).

5. They've got a grudge against the Whites

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If there's no secret connection to the Dingles, then how about the Whites? You can't have more than one rich clan in the Dales without there being a bit of beef.

Did Graham once work for Lawrence White before defecting to another of the Yorkshire jet set's minted dynasties? Is there bad blood between the Whites and the Waterhouses lurking in the past? Is Tom related to the clan somehow and is a secret heir to the White fortune? Which brings us to our next theory…

6. They're the new owners of Home Farm

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So you're loaded and you're becoming a regular character on Emmerdale, meaning there's only place you're going to live – and it ain't the pig sty at Wishing Well Cottage. Tom and Graham have got Home Farm written all over them, and we know that current occupants the Whites will be wiped out this autumn.

We'd be very surprised if chiselled Tom and his loyal butler aren't putting their feet up on a chaise longue in the big house this side of Christmas. Perhaps they've been doing a secret deal with rascal Robert Sugden all along to oust the Whites?

7. It's all a con

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Of course we could all be having the wool pulled over our eyes here, and these enigmatic newcomers could be skint scammers who go round trying to fleece folk with a false front they're eccentric millionaires.

Although having just exposed Nell Fairfax as a fantasist clutching a picture of a random baby she got in a Snappy Snaps frame, would that be a bit too similar?

8. It's a crossover with EastEnders

Never mind all this – will anyone notice Tom is actually Mark Fowler Jnr, love child of Walford's Grant Mitchell and Michelle Fowler?

Are we finally about to get that Emmerdale/EastEnders crossover we've been praying for?!

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