Inside Emmerdale legend Claire King's life off screen – from secret illness battle to romance with co-star | The Sun

EMMERDALE legend Claire King has been on television for an impressive 40 years now.

The soap actress, who is 62, first shot to fame when she appeared in girl pop group To Be Continued.

She went on to land her first acting role in 1987 when she appeared in film Eat the Rich.

But the star is most famous for playing Emmerdale baddie Kim Tate, arriving in the Dales in 1989.

She played the role for 10 years before departing for other job opportunities.

Although her character was married a grand total of five times on the soap, Claire herself only tied the knot once – and it was to her screen stepson.

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She developed a romance on set with Peter Amory, who played her archenemy Chris Tate.

It seems that this pair took the idiom keep your friends close but your enemies closer to heart, and they ended up getting married in 1994.

The couple were together for ten years before it all fell apart when Peter had an affair – with another woman from Emmerdale.

According to LeedsLive, Claire discovered her husband was shacking up with Samantha Giles.

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Ironically the character Samantha played, Bernice Blackstock, also had a storyline where she had an affair with a married man in the Dales.

Thankfully Claire found love again, and now co-parents two teens with her new partner.

The 62-year-old was grateful to become a step mum as she became unable to have biological kids due to a health battle.

She previously told OK!: "My ex didn’t want children as he already had one and by the time we split up, I was just on the verge of missing that window.

"But then I started getting ill and had to have a hysterectomy, so I just accepted it wasn’t meant to be for me.

"So when my current partner arrived in my life and I gained two teenagers, I was already well prepared. I like to think I was there for them through a few of their growing years."

She also revealed that she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was 28, which is an autoimmune condition that causes joint pain and stiffness.

It almost stopped her from working, and she shared that people often underestimate how much the condition affects her because it isn't visible.

She said: "I struggled to go to work and do the things I love, like horse-riding, because of the terrible pressure it put on my knees, I can certainly relate to the ‘invisible disease’ – although my symptoms don’t always show, it doesn’t mean I’m not in pain or feeling exhausted."

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