Who was Rachel Hughes in Emmerdale and what happened to her?

16 April 2021, 10:13

Rachel Hughes was killed in Emmerdale
Rachel Hughes was killed in Emmerdale. Picture: Shutterstock

How did Rachel Hughes die in Emmerdale? Here's what we know about Glenda McKay's character...

Rachel Hughes made her debut on Emmerdale back in 1988 and left the soap following the character's death in 1999.

She arrived with her mum Kate and brother Mark after her parents divorced.

Rachel was part of some big storylines during her time on the soap after embarking on affair with married man Pete Whiteley on her 18th birthday.

This soon ended when his wife, Lynn, became pregnant and they moved away from the village, but when Pete later returned he started up the romance again.

Rachel Hughes was played by Glenda McKay
Rachel Hughes was played by Glenda McKay. Picture: Shutterstock

The storyline came to a dramatic end when Pete was accidentally run over and killed by Rachel’s mum Kate, who was driving while drunk.

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Rachel also had an affair with Chris Tate and gave birth to their son Joseph Mark Tate in 1995, on the same day her stepdad Joe Sugden died, naming her son in tribute to him.

After she and Chris split, Rachel had a romance with married man Jack Sugden, before moving on to schoolteacher Graham Clark.

How did Rachel Hughes die in Emmerdale?

Rachel met a very grisly end after she was pushed off a cliff by Graham during an argument.

After he tried to turn her into a housewife, Rachel told Eric Pollard that she was thinking of leaving Graham, and planned to break the news during a picnic.

Graham got wind of the news and proposed to Rachel, and while she initially said yes, things became heated during their walk.

Graham cornered Rachel on a clifftop, where she realised that he had killed his first wife and made it look like suicide.

Graham then pushed Rachel off the cliff to her death and Jack later found her body.

While he never went to prison for his crime, Graham was later killed in a car crash after trying to run away with Rachel's friend Kathy Glover.

Glenda McKay and Paul Opacic in 1998
Glenda McKay and Paul Opacic in 1998. Picture: PA Images

Joe was four-years-old when his mum died, and lived with Chris until his death in 2003 when Chris' sister, Zoe, was awarded custody and they moved to New Zealand in 2005.

Who played Rachel Hughes in Emmerdale?

Rachel Hughes was played by Leeds-born actress Glenda McKay.

The 50-year-old’s brother Craig McKay was also a regular on the soap and played the role of Rachel's brother Mark Hughes between 1988 and 1994.

Glenda has had a few roles since leaving Emmerdale, including Coronation Street, Doctors, The Royal, Hollyoaks and Eternal Law.

She is reportedly now a teacher in West Yorkshire.

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