Stephanie Waring as Cindy (2013)
|Portrayed by||Laura Crossley (1995–96)
Stephanie Waring (1996–)
|Duration||1995–2001, 2002, 2004, 2008–|
|First appearance||4 December 1995|
|Introduced by||Phil Redmond (1995)
Jo Hallows (2002, 2004)
Bryan Kirkwood (2008)
|Hollyoaks Later (2009)|
|Occupation||Businesswoman (2001, 2010–12)
Exotic dancer (2002–04)
Waitress (2008–09, 2012)
Shop assistant (2013—)
|Home||5 Oakdale Drive, Flat 2|
Cynthia "Cindy" Cunningham (previously Longford and Hutchinson) is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Stephanie Waring. She made her first on-screen appearance on 4 December 1995, then played by Laura Crossley, as the youngest daughter of Gordon (Bernard Latham) and Angela Cunningham (Liz Stooke).
In 1996, Crossley quit the serial and the role was recast to actress Stephanie Waring. Waring remained with the soap until 2001, when she quit the role. Waring reprised the role briefly in 2002 and 2004 before returning to Hollyoaks as a full-time character in June 2008, reintroduced by series producer Bryan Kirkwood. In 2010, Waring became pregnant and her character was temporarily written out for Waring's maternity leave. Waring confirmed on her Twitter page at the beginning of December that she had received scripts for her return to the show. She returned to filming in January 2011 and returned on 9 March 2011. Waring has been nominated for several awards for her part as Cindy.
Character creation and casting
Cindy was created as one of the original characters of Hollyoaks as well as one of the original members of the Cunningham family.
Auditions were held for the part of Cindy with actress Laura Crossley going onto secure the part in 1995. Crossley quit the show the following year and the decision was made to recast the part so actress Stephanie Waring stepped into the role with immediate effect and remained with the show until 2001. In 2002 Waring admitted she would like to return to the series and later reprised the role in with 2004 for a brief stint. In 2008 news surfaced that the character was to be reintroduced to the series. It was later confirmed producer Bryan Kirkwood had asked Stephanie to reprise her role along with Sarah Jayne-Dunn for the exit of their on-screen brother Max Cunningham on an initial six month contract. This was because at the time the series had lost many of its long term characters and he felt it was time to bring some characters from the past back. She remained with the series until 2010, when Waring took maternity leave before returning on 9 March 2011.
The Channel 4 publicity website for Hollyoaks have described the character as having a manipulative personality, not being even curbed by the death of her brother. Also that she constantly enjoys stirring up other people's lives.
In an interview with PA, Stephanie Waring, who plays the character, said she wanted to see Cindy tackle more emotional storylines. She stated, "It's really fun to play the comedy and the manipulative bitch, but for me personally I feel more at home doing the drama — so it was really nice to get scripts again that show that. As much as I love doing the comedy, this is where I feel at home so I'm hoping there is more to come."
Waring also admitted that growing older has helped her cope better with Hollyoaks. "There is a different vibe since I was here last time", she continued, "I'm a lot older as well so my life is completely different so I'm handling it a lot better than I probably did when I was 18. When you're 18 and start a new show you don't know anything about life. It will be difficult for anybody. But now after being away, doing other things and growing up you approach it from a different angle. It's work at the end of the day and you go home and you've got your family. And that's what it's about. Doing what you love."
In 2010, a new plot saw Cindy's daughter Holly run away. During an interview with Digital Spy, Waring was asked whether she felt the storyline would change Cindy permanently, she replied: "Definitely. I hope so. I hope not to the extent that they stop making her fun. She says what she thinks but she's got a vulnerable side as well. She doesn't want to be seen as joker all the time. I hope they keep that but that she becomes a better mother because of it. I just hope we don't lose the essence of Cindy." Waring claimed that the plot made her emotional, she told PA: "I'm a mother myself so I have to put myself in that position and think how I'd feel how if it happened to me. Going there even a little bit made me break down completely. I can't even think about it. Even when I'm watching stuff on TV involving kids being hurt I get a lump in my throat and have to give her a cuddle when she's asleep!" Despite promising Cindy would change, in an interview with Radio Times, Waring stated that viewers have not seen the last of her unpleasant side, which she dubbed "uber-Cindy". She commented: "I'm excited about [it]. It's so much more exciting to play a character with character. I see [her] as a 'fun bitch' rather than a nasty one like [Coronation Street's] Tracy or [Hollyoaks] Clare Devine. Cindy has a swagger and delusions of grandeur and I think people love to hate that."
Speaking to Digital Spy in 2009 of her return, Waring stated: "It's flattering to think the return's been successful because I was a bit worried. At first I thought, 'How are we going to make this work?' but Bryan [Kirkwood] was very clear with what he wanted. He was going to bring Cindy back as this larger than life character. We don't actually know what went on in Spain and what changed her over these last few years and we find out a little bit why in Hollyoaks Later which kind of brings it round full circle."
She continued about her future with the soap: "I don't have any plans to leave — I'm very, very happy. I say bring it on to whatever the producers want to give me. I do have a couple of projects that I'm working on myself. I have something that I'm currently writing — I wrote something a few years ago and I'm currently working on that. I like having something of my own as well as Hollyoaks." During 2009, Waring signed an 18-month contract to stay on the soap. She told PA: "I am contracted until next April so a long time yet. I'd love to stay as long as they want me. I got an 18-month contract, which they offered me last September. I was really surprised. They are usually six months or a year."
Cindy's 'gold-digging' personality became clearer after her return. Cindy and Darren Osborne decided to scam Tony Hutchinson out of his money. However, the character changed her plans and decided not to marry Tony for his money. Talking about the conclusion of the storyline, Waring stated: "I think she's definitely out for what she can get — she's always going to be up to something! We're going to have to see what happens with this but I don't think she'll change who she's become over the last eight years in Spain. It's important that we see she's not this one-dimensional gold-digging tart, though. There were some episodes in normal Hollyoaks where we saw this a little bit when she thought Tony was just with her for her looks and Holly didn't want to be like her. In Later this spills out again and we get to see more of the Cindy there once was before moving to Spain." In another interview, she said: "She uses her outer image to hide who she really is inside and in Later we discover she's just a normal girl who wants to find love and security and have a secure life with her daughter and have a family — she's found that in Tony." After their postponed wedding, Cindy admitted her plans to Tony and the pair split up, however they agreed to get married, which they did in Hollyoaks Later.
In 2010, it was announced that Waring was pregnant and would leave Hollyoaks to go on maternity leave, returning in early 2011.
On her sixteenth birthday, Cindy is impregnated by Lee Stanley (Nathan Valente) and upon discovering her pregnancy, shortly after, she conceals this. However, after delivering a baby girl, Cindy abandons her daughter. Gordon (Bernard Latham) tells Cindy she has responsibilities and forces her to look after the baby, whom she names Holly (Katie Hynes). Cindy grows depressed and attempts to suffocate Holly; however, her sister Jude (Davinia Taylor) stops her from proceeding and makes her realise that she truly loves her daughter.
After uneasy years of caring for Holly, Cindy and local decorator Sean Tate (Daniel Pape) begin dating. Secretly, though, Sean mistreats Holly. He is caught, locking her in a fridge by Cindy's brother Max Cunningham (Matt Littler). The social services get involved in Cindy's motherhood when Holly is burnt by a firework. Cindy sees no other option but to leave the country with Holly and Sean to get the social services off of her back. However, Holly does not have a passport and therefore, Sean immediately dumps a stranded Cindy and leaves the pair. Cindy returns to the village and begins to adapt to the life of a single mother.
Cindy settles into her new business venture, "Steam Team" and she falls in love with Ben Davies (Marcus Patric). Cindy and Ben's relationship struggles after she cheats on him with Dan Hunter (Andrew McNair) and Sam "O.B." O'Brien (Darren Jeffries). After beginning work at The Loft, Cindy leaves Holly asleep in the cloak room, where she finds and swallows an ecstasy tablet. After Holly is rushed to hospital, Cindy realises the social services will soon be involved. Cindy then decides to flee the country to avoid having Holly taken from her. On her dash to the airport, Cindy runs over Anna Green (Lisa Kay) with her car. Shocked, Cindy leaves Anna for dead and leaves for Spain.
Cindy returns from Spain in May 2002 with Holly. She secretly needs money but keeps her agenda for returning secret, she then decides to scam Max and O.B. out of their money. During her minor return, Cindy becomes illicitly romantically involved with Scott Anderson (Daniel Hyde), who is cheating on his girlfriend Steph Dean (Carley Stenson). After two months, Cindy manages to clear Max and O.B.'s bank accounts and leaves for Spain once more. When she returns to Spain, Cindy begins working as a pole dancer in a nightclub, where she befriends fellow worker Savannah Madeiros (Nicola Stapleton).
In October 2004, Cindy returns to Hollyoaks once again for her father Gordon's funeral. During this time, Cindy reveals she has a bar in Spain. After several arguments, Cindy gives Max and O.B. their money back, which helps them save their business. Cindy then vows never to return and departs for Spain. Back in her normal life, Cindy is deceived by Savannah, who uses Holly to smuggle drugs and scams her out of a large amount of money. Cindy dates a wealthy man named Phillip for his money. However, he begins to be violent towards her, so she leaves Spain, taking his money with her.
Cindy and Holly return in June 2008 after escaping from Phillip with his money. Cindy moves in with Max and has her doubt about his fiancée Steph, believing she is only interested in his money. After Max is killed, Cindy uses his death as an excuse to get sympathy and decides to stay. After being rejected by Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas), Cindy starts a sexual fling with Darren Osborne (Ashley Taylor Dawson), which ends as he is imprisoned. Cindy enjoys a string of sex sessions with Rhys Ashworth (Andrew Moss) until Darren's release. Cindy discovers an affair between Mandy Richardson (Sarah Jayne Dunn) and Warren. Cindy becomes enemies with Warren's fiancée Louise Summers (Roxanne McKee) after trying to seduce Warren.
After starting work at Il Gnosh restaurant, Cindy and Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard) start dating, despite Darren's jealousy. Darren tells Cindy he still loves her. Although she is seeing Tony, Cindy reciprocates and they plot to Cindy marrying and scamming Tony as Darren deteriorates The Dog in the Pond's business so they can buy it cheaply. Despite his suspicions of what Cindy really wants, Tony gets married to Cindy, who is settling into married life and Tony's money. At Christmas, Cindy assumes Tony has bought her an expensive gift, but is disappointed to discover he has gained Holly a place in private school. After Tony buys Tan & Tumble, Cindy instates her position as the manager and reinvents it into clothing shop, Cincerity. Despite Tony's negative views, Cindy is determined to prove him wrong. Holly runs away from home after feeling neglected and seeing Tony kiss Theresa McQueen (Jorgie Porter). Cindy believes her disappearance is just for attention. However, after police find Holly's school bag battered and left in a dustbin, Cindy begins to fear the worst and assumes Holly has been abducted. A nationwide search goes underway. Holly, who had been hiding at Spencer Gray's (Darren John Langford) flat, is found by Jake Dean (Kevin Sacre). Holly is knocked unconscious and Cindy accuses Jake of kidnapping her. As Holly lies in a coma, Cindy feels Tony is not supportive and seeks solace from ex-boyfriend Darren, believing her marriage has terminated. When Holly wakes up, Tony has a heart-to-heart with her, which Cindy overhears. She then gives him a second chance. To get their marriage back on track, Cindy suggests they move to North Wales. Tony disagrees, but begins to view properties in the area. While there, he helps Gabby Sharpe (Phina Oruche), who is run over. After a week caring for Gabby, Tony realises that he feels no love for Cindy, so returns and tells her he wants a divorce.
Cindy meets Alistair Longford (Terence Harvey), a rich pensioner who assumes Cindy saved him from choking to death, when it was actually Myra McQueen (Nicole Barber-Lane). Cindy accompanies Alistair on several dates, and after a couple of days with each other's knowledge, he proposes. Cindy is initially hesitant, but accepts upon discovering he is a multi-millionaire. However, Jacqui McQueen (Claire Cooper) blackmails Cindy, threatening to tell Alistair that it was Myra who saved his life. Jacqui and Myra then plan Cindy's wedding. Steph is horrified to discover Cindy is marrying Alistair, who is in his seventies. Alistair's mother Blanche Longford (Georgina Hale) arrives in Hollyoaks after being called by his granddaughters India Longford (Beth Kingston) and Texas Longford (Bianca Hendrickse-Spendlove) in an attempt to sabotage the wedding. Blanche's plans fail, but she refuses to believe Cindy truly loves Alistair. Cindy is eventually made to tell Alistair that Myra had actually saved his life. However, this does not hinder Alistair's decision to marry her. On the day of the wedding, Darren tries to talk Cindy out of it and asks her to marry him, which she rejects. Blanche witnesses Darren and Cindy together and during the wedding, tells Alistair that they are having an affair. Darren and Cindy deny an affair and the wedding goes ahead. Before she leaves for her honeymoon, Cindy apologises to Steph and says goodbye, knowing it may be the last time she sees her as Steph is terminally ill with cancer. Cindy assures Holly she has only married Alistair to secure her a good life. Alistair and Cindy then leave, although she seems displeased when he reveals he has bought viagra.
In March 2011, Tony is shocked to discover that Cindy is the buy of The Look Sharpe Spa, having become a millionairess, following the death of Alistair and decides to make changes by introducing a new uniform and changing the name of the Spa. She later goes to visit Darren and is shocked to discover he is the father of twins but she later employs him as her chauffeur. However Nancy Hayton (Jessica Fox) tells him not to do the job but he tells her that he earns financial gain and doesn't listen to her, but Cindy is later annoyed as she realises Nancy will be in the car with them. She later befriends Noah Baxter (Law Thompson), who is her colleague at the Spa. She and Cheryl Brady (Bronagh Waugh) decided to have a party for Gays in which she employs Tony to be a waiter for the evening. He agrees to carry on with the job because of the money he is being paid although he is purposefully made to feel uncomfortable when he is repeatedly slapped on the bum.
When Mandy returned to Hollyoaks as manager of Cinergy, Mandy and Texas planned to scam Cindy out of her money, by getting her to buy fake expensive paintings. They also got Cindy to buy a snake, which is later revealed as poisonous and when the snake escapes the girls panic. Cindy finds out that Mandy and Texas were continuing to con her out of her money and at first she is furious with Mandy and threatens to call the police, but later makes up with her. A priest named Father Francis arrives in Hollyoaks and catches the affections of Cindy and Carmel Valentine (Gemma Merna) who also works in Cinergy. Cindy donates a large sum of money to Father Francis's charity, but it is later revealed that Father Francis is a con artist posing as a priest in order to steal Cindy's money.
In January 2012, Carmel finds out that Cindy has been ignoring "final demands" letters, when Cindy refuses to pay Carmel's wages, her mother Myra and sister Jacqui start to loot Cinergy and a fight breaks out between Cindy and Jacqui. The police are called and Cindy, Carmel, Jacqui, Myra, Cheryl, Nancy and Lynsey Nolan (Karen Hassan) are arrested. Cindy then loses all of her money and businesses, and is left bankrupt. She is then offered a job and a place to stay by her ex-husband Tony.
Cindy helps Darren plan a secret wedding to Nancy but unbeknownst to him, she is trying to win him back. When they dress shop together, Darren briefly cheats on Nancy by kissing Cindy and she is left feeling upset when he pushes her away. Eventually, Cindy accepts they won't have a future and ends up saving the day by confirming to Nancy, who's having doubts about his infidelity, that he is not having an affair. Cindy gets intoxicated at the reception and ends up having sex with Tony.
Afterwards, she rekindles her relationship with Tony. However, he begins to neglect her as he continues to spend excessive time with Barney Harper-McBride (Tom Scurr) and Rob Edwards (David Atkins). She shares a reignited attraction with her ex-lover Rhys, who has been facing isolation by his wife Jacqui McQueen (Claire Cooper), embroiled in the McQueen's situations. After a sensation of temptation grows, they share a passionate kiss, interrupted by Tony. They end up sleeping together and start an affair. Cindy starts regretting her secret affair with Rhys and considers ending their relationship. Although attempting to, Cindy finds Rhys irresistible and she succumbs. Tony is concussed and becomes temporarily blind. Cindy finally splits up with Rhys, realising she has only ever been in love with Tony. Cindy and Rhys kiss in an alleyway, which she tells him is her way of bidding farewell. Tony, who has regained his sight, witnesses this although Cindy is unaware of this. Cindy and Tony still marry and Holly (Wallis Day) attends their wedding. Rhys plans to leave Hollyoaks village and Cindy asks him to take her with him. But they are interrupted when Maddie Morrison (Scarlett Bowman) crashes a stolen mini bus into the wedding venue. The van explodes and kills Neil Cooper (Tosin Cole) and Maddie. When the paramedics arrive, they tell Jacqui Rhys will die and that she should stay with him and comfort him. Cindy suffers a breakdown as Rhys dies and tells Jacqui he loves her and apologizes.
Jacqui then discovers on Christmas Day 2012 about Rhys and Cindy's affair and attacks Cindy. Cindy is then taken to hospital. Jacqui then drags Cindy out of her hospital bed to Rhys's grave where she continues to attack her. Cindy then turns to Tony for comfort although Tony refuses to help her and instead takes Jacqui's side. Tony tells Cindy that if she reports Jacqui to the police then he will make her and Holly homeless. He then files for divorce. Holly then scams money off of Darren which she uses to buy a new flat for her and Cindy. Cindy then becomes attracted to Patrick Blake (Jeremy Sheffield) and feuds with Maxine Minniver (Nikki Sanderson) who is also attracted to Patrick. Patrick and Cindy briefly date although he then leaves Cindy for Maxine. A pregnant Sinead O'Connor (Stephanie Davis) then works for Cindy and they initially fight although Cindy starts to feel sympathy for her when she realizes that Sinead is similar to how Cindy was when she was pregnant with Holly. Sinead then quits working for Cindy after she is a victim in a shooting in the shop. Sinead and Holly start fighting and Holly reports Sinead to social services after Sinead gives birth to a baby girl, Katy, although starts drug-dealing. Cindy lets Tony move in with her after she discovers he has cancer and after he accuses Sinead's step-mother, Diane O'Connor (Alex Fletcher) of reporting Sinead to the social services. Cindy feels bad when Tony and Sinead both turn on Diane as she knows Holly really reported Sinead. Diane eventually finds out about Tony's cancer, however, and Tony moves back in with Diane with Tony and Diane getting back together.
Cindy has a steamy session with Doctor Browning (Joseph Thompson) after he splits up with Mercedes McQueen (Jennifer Metcalfe) after she discovers his plan to kill her mum Myra McQueen (Nicole Barber-Lane). Threatening to tell Mercedes about their night together when Dr Browning turns on her, he bribes Cindy with money. Breaking under the pressure when Cindy refuses to take his money, he follows her to the school's open day and strangles her in the school's stationery cupboard. But, he fails to kill her and as she wakes, she holds onto a dodgy shelf to help her up, which falls on her, knocking her unconscious. The following day, she is found by Dirk Savage, who calls the ambulance. Cindy soon recovers and initially frightened, she plucks up the courage to tell junior doctor Lindsey Butterfield (Sophie Austin) that she wants to report her attacker to the police. However, Dr. Browning tells Cindy of his intention to murder her daughter Holly Cunningham (Wallis Day), to which she agrees to keep her mouth shut. Cindy eventually reveals to Lindsey that Dr Browning was her attacker and Lindsey reveals that she was also attacked by Dr Browning. Cindy and Lindsey try to convince Mercedes that Dr Browning is dangerous after she reunites with him, but Mercedes refuses to believe it. After being caught on CCTV shooting Myra, Dr Browning is arrested.
Cindy and Lindsey make up with Mercedes when she realizes that they were right about Browning, and they attend her 30th birthday party. During the party, however, Mercedes is taken back to her home by Browning where he begins to strangle her. Cindy and Lindsey arrive at her house in time to save her, and Cindy hits Browning round the head with a shovel. He passes out although then wakes up and tries to attack Lindsey. Mercedes then kills Browning with the shovel. Cindy initially feels guilty as she reveals that she is pregnant with Browning's son which she intends to keep however when it is clear to her that Browning was a sick man, the three girls hide Browning's body in Mercedes's attic, although when Mercedes discovers that Browning has life insurance worth £500,000, she agrees to split the money with Cindy. In order for them to receive the money, they needed his body to be found so along with Lindsey and Freddie Roscoe (Charlie Clapham), who also discovered what happened, they made his death look as if he had driven his car off a cliff, telling Lindsey that they were doing it to get rid of him permanently. When Browning's body is found, Cindy then discovers that she has the right to claim the full insurance money as she is pregnant with Browning's son and she decides to claim it all, cancelling the deal with Mercedes. Mercedes, infuriated, arranges for Trevor Royle (Greg Wood) to break in to Cindy's apartment and threaten her and Holly in order so that Cindy gives Mercedes the money which he does so, and Cindy gives up the money. When Browning's ex-wife refuses to take the money, Mercedes receives it. Dirk comforts Cindy following Trevor threatening her, and they begin a relationship despite Dirk not usually being the type of man Cindy would go for. Cindy and Dirk then get engaged. Later, Dirk discovers that Cindy played a part in Browning's murder and ends things with her. However, when Cindy goes in to labour, Mercedes convinces Dirk to help Cindy after realizing what a good friend Cindy is.
Cindy gives birth to baby Hilton, although he is unable to breathe and it is revealed he requires a blood transfusion, however the only person able to give the blood transfusion is Browning's son Alex. Mercedes goes to meet Alex, pretending to be a cleaner and then convincing him to go to help Cindy, however she then lies to Alex that Hilton is already dead.
In 2010, the wedding of Cindy and Tony Hutchinson was nominated at the Inside Soap Awards for best wedding but lost out. In 2009 Stephanie Waring was nominated for best bitch but lost out to Charlie Brooks. Waring was also shortlisted for Best Dramatic Performance for her role in Holly's disappearance in 2010 at the Inside Soap Awards.
The Sun's magazine Buzz branded Cindy "money mad". She was described by STV as a "manipulative man-eater". Whilst Georgine Little-John writing for the Daily Mail branded Cindy "conniving and money-hungry". I Channel 5's Holy Soap said "Cindy can only be described as a tart with a heart (albeit of stone). She's had more lovers than she can count and one can't help but admire her ability to land on her feet time and time again."  E4 described Cindy as "sly and conniving" and commented that her "grief at the loss of her brother Max has done little to curb her manipulative personality". Laura Morgan of All About Soap said that Cindy lost her multi-million pound fortunes because "it costs a lot to look that cheap". Inside Soap critic Sarah said "there are standout performances from some of my all-time favourite Hollyoaks stars, including [...] Stephanie Waring" during the Enjoy The Ride storyline. All About Soap journalist Kerry Barrett said viewers should watch out for Waring amongst other cast member, who she felt "all act their socks off". Barrett's All About Soap colleague Carena Crawford said she felt "a bit sorry" for Cindy as she watched Rhys die.
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