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Alice Bates

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Alice Bates

Alice Bates
Emmerdale character
Portrayed by Kimberly Hewitt (1991-93)
Rachel Tolboys (1993-2001)
Duration 1991-99, 2001
First appearance 14 February 1991
Last appearance 12 December 2001
Introduced by Stuart Doughty (1991)
Steve Frost (2001)
Classification Former; regular
Home Australia

Alice Rose Bates was a fictional character on ITV's Emmerdale from 1991–1999, 2001. She was played by two actresses: Kimberley Hewitt from 1991–1993 and by Rachel Tolboys from 1993-2001.


  • Storylines 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Exit Storyline 1.2
    • Return and Second Exit 1.3
  • About the Actress 2
  • See also 3


Early life

Alice was born in February 1991 to Nick Bates and Elsa Feldmann. Nick and Elsa were due to get married but Elsa went into premature labour and Zoe Tate delivered the baby at Mill Cottage. Elsa struggled to adapt to life as a mother and so on Christmas Eve 1991, she left Nick, taking Alice with her but struggling to cope, she gave Alice to Nick, saying that Alice prevented her from having a social life.

In December 1993, a plane crashed in the village. Alice's dad Nick was out with his friend, Archie Brooks, and Alice's live-in childminder. That night, Nick and Archie got a babysitter, Ruth Jameson, who left Alice alone just before the plane came down. Archie was killed but Nick survived. Alice was feared dead but was pulled out of the rubble of what had been her home a few days later. Nick spent several weeks in hospital and Alice went to stay with Elsa, who tried to make the arrangement permanent, claiming that Nick and Archie were lovers and that they neglected Alice, putting her in danger. The court didn't agree and Nick was awarded custody and Elsa left the area.

In 1996, Nick, was sent to prison for accidentally shooting a poacher. Alice went to live with Nick's sister, Kathy, who desperately tried to contact Elsa but was shocked to discover she'd moved to Australia without telling anyone. Realising she was all Alice had left and just how selfish and uncaring Elsa was, Kathy took custody of Alice. However, later that year, Kathy and Alice started getting threats from the family of the man Nick had killed. Nick and Kathy's mother, Caroline, came to Emmerdale and wanted to take Alice to Scarborough. However, Kathy was determined to fulfill Nick's wish of having Alice with her.

Alice was upset when Kathy reconciled with Dave Glover as he had left them once before. He did leave them again but not through choice. He died after saving Kim Tate's infant son James Tate from a fire.

In May 1997, Nick's girlfriend, Karen, went to see Alice after school and took her back to the village. Alice was reluctant to go with her as she didn't know her. When Kathy found out, she was furious and ordered Karen to keep away from Alice. Karen kept coming to see Alice and told Kathy that when Nick was released, they and Alice would be moving to Boston. Kathy was annoyed at Karen for getting Alice's hopes up about Nick being released, knowing there was very little chance he would get off. Kathy went to see Nick who confirmed that what Karen was saying was true and that even if he went to prison, he wanted Karen to take Alice. A couple of weeks later, Nick was sentenced to 10 years in prison and Karen left for Boston alone. Kathy, meanwhile, was left to tell Alice, then aged just six, that her dad was not coming home and it would just be the two of them from now on. Kathy, who had grown very close to Alice, was relieved that she could keep Alice, but was upset at the thought of her brother spending so long in prison.

In July 1997, Alice was looked after by 14-year-old Emma Cairns. Emma took Alice to the playground, however while she was chatting to friends, Alice disappeared, having been taken by Karen. The whole Village searched for her but to no avail. Meanwhile, Jack Sugden was returning from a weekend in Sheffield and stopped at a service station to call his wife, Sarah. Sarah told Jack of Alice's disappearance and by a stroke of luck, Jack saw Alice at the service station being led away by Karen. Jack was able to save Alice and returned her to the village.

In October 1997, Alice was knocked over by a dog. The owner of the dog, Doug Hamilton seemed quite taken with Kathy and asked her out to dinner as a way of compensation for frightening Alice. After a few dates, Kathy was shocked to find out that Doug was married. Doug then asked Kathy and Alice to come on holiday with him.c

In 1998, Elsa arrived in the village to try to take Alice but after realising she was settled, decided to leave her in Emmerdale.

In July 1999, Kathy's boyfriend, Biff Fowler, proposed to her. Alice got on extremely well with Biff and was excited about the wedding. However, on the day, Biff couldn't go through with it and jilted Kathy before leaving Emmerdale for good on his motor-bike. Kathy and Alice were left devastated by Biff's departure.

Exit Storyline

One day in September 1999, Kathy and Alice came home from school and was found Elsa waiting for them. Elsa told Kathy that she was now married to an Australian man named Brett and he had a son, Shane, and Elsa wanted to get to know Alice. Alice was worried that Elsa would try and take her away but Kathy assured her this wouldn't happen. On their first visit, Alice was hostile to Elsa, choosing to play in her room instead and Kathy became suspicious of Elsa's motives when she asked if she could collect Alice from school the next day. Alice began asking Kathy why her mother left and Kathy wondered how much to tell Alice, then aged only eight. Elsa took Alice for a pizza after school and the ice between them began to melt. When they got home, Kathy was upset when Alice asked to see Elsa the next day. Kathy agreed to meet Elsa to discuss Alice but things didn't go well when Elsa revealed that she wanted Alice to live with her. The next day, Kathy visited Nick and told him that Elsa was back and Nick begged her to keep Elsa away and told her he was depending on her. Elsa later angered Kathy by showing Alice impressive pictures of Australia and told her she had a step-brother, Shane, out there. Alice interrupted Kathy and Elsa having a blazing row and ran off, clearly upset by what she'd witnessed. Elsa later told Alan Turner that she was beginning to wonder whether fighting for custody was the right thing to do as Alice seemed perfectly happy where she was.

Meanwhile, Elsa was considering going home until she heard Betty gossiping about Kathy's recent troubles. Elsa promptly changed her mind, thinking she could use this as part of her case. Kathy's role as Alice's guardian was seriously threatened but a solicitor suggested she get Nick on side would improve her case and so Kathy visited him in prison. However, Kathy was devastated when Nick told her that Elsa had visited and convinced him that Alice would be better off with her so Kathy told Alice that Elsa wanted to take her away so Alice refused to see Elsa again. A welfare officer came to speak to Kathy and Elsa about Alice's future and told them that if they could not agree a compromise, then a judge would decide. A couple of days later, Kathy agreed to let Elsa to take Alice on holiday to London. When Alice returned, Kathy's temper got the better of her when Alice told her what a great time she'd had. Meanwhile, Elsa told Alan that she thought it was only a matter of time before Alice agreed to go to Australia with her. Alice became upset when she overheard Kathy talking about her feelings for Elsa was and turned to Alan. Meanwhile, Elsa's husband and stepson arrived and Alice enjoyed getting to know them. Alice particularly enjoyed spending time with Shane, who was only a couple of years older than her. However, after a few weeks, they needed to go home, upsetting Alice. After seeing this, Kathy agreed that Alice should go too. The next day Kathy asked Alice if she would like to go to Australia with Elsa but Alice asked if Kathy wanted her to go, forcing her to fight her feelings. Alice seemed enthusiastic about living with her mum but as the day progressed and the thought of leaving Kathy and Emmerdale hit Alice, she told Kathy that she didn't want to leave. That night Elsa and Brett arrived to collect Alice. Elsa thanked Kathy for everything she had done for Alice over the last few years and told her she was welcome to visit whenever she wanted. Before Alice left, she gave Kathy one of her teddies and told her to cuddle it when she felt sad. Kathy then said a tearful goodbye to Alice as she left with Elsa.

Return and Second Exit

In November 2001, Kathy went to Australia to see Alice, having not seen her in nearly two years. Kathy's boyfriend, Andrew, was worried to see lights on in Kathy's house when leaving the Woolpack one night. Upon going to investigate, he was shocked to see Kathy, having cut her holiday short. However, he was in for an even bigger shock when Alice walked into the room. When Alice had gone to bed, Kathy told Andrew that she was concerned for her niece's safety and brought her back without Elsa's knowledge. The following day, the seriousness of her actions hit Kathy and she was forced to contact a solicitor to find out her legal position. She told the solicitor that she feared Alice was being mistreated. However, her hopes where dashed when she was told that without evidence of abuse, she could face charges of child abduction. It was not long before Elsa arrived in Emmerdale and she demanded to know why Kathy had taken her daughter. Kathy was not prepared to give Alice up without a fight and so disappeared with her again.

Kathy headed to the Sugden's farm with Alice and asked Jack not to tell anyone where she was. Alan Turner assured Elsa that Kathy would return Alice soon but Elsa was not convinced and wanted to call the police. The following day, Alan heard the Sugden children talking in the shop and realised that Kathy and Alice were at the farm. Turner felt it was his duty to tell Elsa where her daughter was. Elsa headed up to the farm to have it out with Kathy but was stunned when Alice, upset after visiting Nick in prison, told Elsa that she hated her and didn't want to be with her. Elsa was left with no option but to return to the B&B to think things over. The following day, Kathy took Alice to see Elsa and they agree that Alice's happiness is what matters and it isn't too late to put things right. Elsa insisted that she and Alice were returning to Australia, making Kathy realise that she had no choice but to let Elsa take Alice. Despite wanting to return to Australia, Alice was upset at the prospect of leaving Kathy again and tried to convince her to move to Australia. Although Kathy initially insisted it wasn't practical, she eventually realised that there was little keeping her in Emmerdale and decided to make the move to Australia, much to Alice's delight. Kathy told Elsa of her plans, who agreed that it sounded like a good compromise. On 12th December 2001, Kathy waved Elsa and Alice off as they headed back to Australia, knowing she would see them soon. Kathy tied up loose ends in the village and on 21 December 2001, left to join Alice in Sydney.

Alice has been mentioned a few times since leaving Emmerdale, mainly by Alan Turner, who makes regular trips to Australia to see Kathy.

About the Actress

Rachel Tolboys
Born Rachel Madeline Tolboys
17 April 1990
Leeds, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1993–present
Notable work Emmerdale

Rachel Madeline Tolboys was born on 17 April 1990 in Leeds. In 1993 she was cast in Emmerdale, taking over the role of Alice Bates from Kimberley Hewitt. In 1999 Rachel decided to leave Emmerdale and the character of Alice was written out of Emmerdale to live with her mother Elsa. She made her last appearance on 3 November 1999. Tolboys briefly returned to Emmerdale in November 2001 as part of a story which saw Alice's aunt Kathy leave the show. This time, her last appearance was on 12 December 2001.

Rachel now works as a dancer and makes appearances on stage and in adverts on TV.

She attended Ralph Thorsby High School in Leeds and Centre Stage Academy of performing arts in Leeds.

See also

  • Emmerdale Cast List
  • Rachel Tolboys at the Internet Movie Database
  • Alice Bates at Emmerdale.Org
  • Kimberley Hewitt at the Internet Movie Database
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