|Portrayed by||Jill Halfpenny|
|First appearance||24 December 2002|
|Last appearance||7 January 2005|
|Introduced by||Louise Berridge|
|Aliases||Kate Morton (maiden name)
Kate Tyler (undercover name)
Kate meets Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) in hospital where he visits his godson, Jamie Mitchell (Jack Ryder), who is dying from injuries sustained in a road accident. When Jamie dies, Kate supports Phil and they begin a relationship. As an undercover policewoman, she introduces herself as Kate Tyler and tells him that she is a [Manicure|nail technician]]. Kate helps her boss Jill Marsden (Sophie Stanton) and DI Dominic Price (Paul Brennen) set up a honey trap, hoping Phil will confess to murdering Lisa Fowler (Lucy Benjamin), but it does not work when Kate falls in love with Phil, so Marsden fires her. Despite initial anger, he forgives her and she sets up a nail salon called SophistiKate's. Phil proposes to Kate and she accepts.
On their wedding day, her alcoholic father, Geoff (Maurice Roëves), is an unwelcome presence; he openly dislikes Phil but they make up for Kate's sake. Another unwelcome presence is Lisa, who requests access to her daughter, Louise (Rachel Cox), and they come to an agreement. Lisa, however, is unhappy that Louise lives with Phil and Den Watts (Leslie Grantham) helps her reclaim residency by framing Phil for attempted robbery and assault. While he is in police custody, Lisa takes her daughter and leaves Walford. Disgusted, Kate ends her marriage to Phil.
Kate makes friends with Little Mo Mitchell (Kacey Ainsworth) and after Mo is raped by Graham Foster, Kate is the first person she sees. Kate persuades Mo to tell her what has happened but does not react well as it sparks childhood memories of when her mother was raped. Kate takes Mo to the police to report the crime and supports her until Mo leaves Walford. Mo returns for the trial with her baby son, Freddie. Graham's mother approaches Mo and meets her grandson, before commenting about another grandchild she will not be allowed to see. Kate reports this to the prosecution's legal team so Graham is convicted.
Kate takes on a new work partner, Den's wife Chrissie Watts (Tracy-Ann Oberman), a hairdresser. Kate and Den begin an affair, and when Chrissie finds out, she ransacks the salon and smashes the mirrors. Chrissie offers to cut Kate's hair but she refuses saying she is too busy but Chrissie convinces her. With the reason that the mirrors are smashed explained, Chrissie asks awkward questions about Kate's 'mystery man' with Kate unaware that Chrissie knows about her and Den. Chrissie questions Kate about her lover and cuts her long hair off leaving most of it short at the nape of her neck. Chrissie attacks Kate and smashes a window before telling Kate's family about the affair and leaves Walford for a few months. Kate has her hair restyled and continues to work at the salon. Chrissie returns and also continues to work there until her investment can be paid back. Eventually Kate and Chrissie become friends again and when offered her job in the police back, Kate closes the salon and moves to Brighton.
Creation and development
It was announced on 6 October 2004 that Halfpenny had been axed by new executive producer Kathleen Hutchison. Halfpenny is said to be "devastated" by this news. A BBC spokeswoman told The Mirror: "Jill's contract has come to an end but that is no reflection on her as an actress, producers just felt there was nowhere left for the character to go. She won't be killed off and the door will be left open for her to return."
Jo Atkison from Western Mail talked about the Kate/Phil/Marsden storyline saying, "Betrayal with a capital B is the order of the day in the Square this week. It's the cop Kate plot I'm interested in. To shop or not to shop is a dilemma that Kate finds hard to cope with as she waits for the confession that will nail Phil for good". In 2012, Halfpenny told a reporter from STV that she still received fan mail regarding Kate from foreign audiences. She added that some could not believe that Kate has sexual relations with Phil.
- Alexander, David (22 March 2003). "A wedding and a funeral for Corrie; Soap watch". Daily Record (Glasgow: Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- Wilkes, Neil. "Confirmed: 'EastEnders' actress axed". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- Atkinson, Jo (22 March 2003). "TV: Soap box Lisa? I don't know a Lisa?; EastEnders' Phil plays the innocent with his lurve interest Kate". Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales: Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- "Jill Halfpenny haunted by Corrie and Eastenders past". STV. (STV Group). 27 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.