Kim Tate will return to 'Emmerdale' full-time next year.

Claire King as Kim Tate

Claire King as Kim Tate

The legendary soap character - played by Claire King - made a brief return to the Dales this week before she was sent back to prison for driving her Aston Martin without being insured but Claire is thrilled that soap superbitch Kim will be back in 2019.

She told the SunOnline: "I'm glad it's got to this point today now where I can just go, 'Oh thank God for that.'

"I'm sick of having all the secrets and I hate having all the secrets.

"I've had to lie, I've said I'm off to do 'El Dorado' - all sorts of weird stuff. I've said I've got a tour coming up, and I've got a TV job, and when they ask what it is I say 'I can't tell you'.

"And as soon as they say I can't tell you, they start wanting to know more, so I just make up s***."

Claire added in a statement: "You knew she wasn't going to go away quietly, so I'm so pleased to announce Kim will be back.

"It's been great fun keeping it under wraps but now she can really get down to business!"

Claire, 55, briefly reprised her role on the soap this week, 20 years after the character flew out of the village in a helicopter.

Claire recently admitted Kim will be "bigger" and "badder" than before during her return.

The former 'Bad Girls' star said: "She is going to come back and wreak havoc.

"She's bigger, badder than she was before, and obviously a bit older."