Stephanie Waring as Cindy Cunningham
|Portrayed by||Laura Crossley (1995–1996)
Stephanie Waring (1996–)
|Duration||1995–2002, 2004, 2008–|
|First appearance||4 December 1995|
|Introduced by||Phil Redmond (1995)
Jo Hallows (2002, 2004)
Bryan Kirkwood (2008)
|Hollyoaks Later (2009)|
|Home||65 Christelton Terrace|
Cindy Cunningham (also Savage, Longford and Hutchinson) is a fictional character from the British 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 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. Cindy has had many major storylines including teenage pregnancy, coping with the deaths of several family members, marriages to Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard), Alistair Longford (Terence Harvey), Mac Nightingale (David Easter) and Dirk Savage (David Kennedy), being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and revealing that she had a secret teenage son, Alfie Nightingale (Richard Linnell) with Mac. Cindy is now the longest serving female in the show, taking over Frankie Osborne not long after her departure in 2017.
On her sixteenth birthday, Cindy sleeps with Lee Stanley (Nathan Valente). She soon finds that she is pregnant but, scared, tries to hide it. Stan offers to stand by Cindy throughout the pregnancy but she rejects him. Not long after, Stan is killed in a car crash, along with his friend Ollie Benson (Paul Leyshon). Cindy gives birth in secret on Christmas Day 1997 and abandons her daughter. Her father, Gordon (Bernard Latham) tells Cindy she has responsibilities and forces her to look after the baby, who she names Holly (Katie Hynes). After giving birth to Holly, she is devastated when her sister Dawn (Lisa Williamson) dies of leukemia. 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 was devastated by his loss, since the death of her father Gordon and sister Dawn, and uses his death as an excuse to get sympathy and decides to stay. She contact Jude about Max's death, as she was devastated, and cannot attend to the funeral, due to still wanted by the police in ten years. 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 (Beth Kingston) and Texas (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 (Richard Winsor) 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 is 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 stepmother, 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 Dr. Paul Browning (Joseph Thompson) after he splits up with Mercedes McQueen (Jennifer Metcalfe) after she discovers his plan to kill her mother, Myra. Threatening to tell Mercedes about their night together when Doctor 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 (David Kennedy), 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, Doctor Browning tells Cindy of his intention to murder Holly, to which she agrees to keep her mouth shut. Cindy eventually reveals to Lindsey that Doctor Browning was her attacker and Lindsey reveals that she was also attacked by Doctor Browning. Cindy and Lindsey try to convince Mercedes that Doctor Browning is dangerous after she reunites with him, but Mercedes refuses to believe it. After being caught on CCTV shooting Myra, Doctor Browning is arrested.
Cindy and Lindsey make up with Mercedes when she realizes that they were right about Doctor Browning, and they attend her 30th birthday party. During the party, however, Mercedes is taken back to her home by Doctor Browning where he begins to strangle her. Cindy and Lindsey arrive at her house in time to save her, and Cindy hits Doctor Browning round the head with a shovel. He passes out although then wakes up and tries to attack Lindsey. Mercedes then kills Doctor Browning with the shovel. Cindy initially feels guilty as she reveals that she is pregnant with Doctor Browning's son which she intends to keep however when it is clear to her that Doctor Browning was a sick man, the three girls hide Doctor Browning's body in Mercedes's attic, although when Mercedes discovers that Doctor 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 Doctor 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 into 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 into labour, Mercedes convinces Dirk to help Cindy after realising 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 Doctor Browning's son, Alex (Ojan Genc). 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, not wanting him to know the truth about Doctor Browning's death. However, Alex eventually discovers the truth and helps Hilton. In June 2014, Cindy develops bipolar disorder and starts thinking that Rhys is still alive and they are in a relationship. Holly realizes something is wrong with Cindy and tells local nurse Sandy Roscoe (Gillian Taylforth), however Cindy accuses Holly of being over dramatic because of puberty and Sandy believes her. Cindy then thinks that everyone will hate her for being with Rhys, and attempts to escape with Rhys and Hilton. However, when Cindy steals the pram for Tony and Diane's children, she is caught attempting to escape and is taken in to a psychiatric institution. Dirk and Holly come to visit Cindy and she is in a terrible state, and thinks that everyone is against her. She destroys the gifts they gave to her, and thinks people are trying to poison her. Holly later revisits Cindy and she accuses Holly of calling her a liar as Holly suspects that she has been hiding food, but it is later revealed that Jason is responsible. Cindy is later released from the unit, but still believes Holly is against her, and she tries to flee the village with Lindsey. Lindsey tells Cindy that she called Mercedes to meet them. But Cindy steals her phone and discovers that Lindsey had called Dirk. Cindy is horrified and drives to the lake. Holly attempts to help Cindy, but she falls into the lake and Holly dives in to help her, but Cindy tries to drown her and requests at the hospital to return to the unit. Holly and Dirk are upset, and want her to come home again to help with Hilton and stay with them. Holly sings at a Christmas concert at school and Jason sends a video to Cindy, and Cindy is pleased to see Holly on stage. At Christmas Eve, Cindy returns home again and is proposed to by Dirk. She happily accepts.
In 2015, Cindy spends more time with Dirk as Will is in hospital after Nico Blake (Persephone Swales-Dawson) pushed him off the hospital roof. She is unaware of the murders Will committed, and goes to visit him. She is also unaware that Will is awake, and Dirk is horrified to learn that Will is awake and what he would do to Cindy. Dirk rushes into the ward and Cindy gets up to leave. Will injects Cindy with morphine which nearly kills her. She is put in hospital but quickly recovers. Dirk chooses to attend Will's funeral, but Cindy is angry with Dirk because she wants him to be with her after he tried to kill her. Dirk goes to the funeral anyway, but Cindy and Dirk's brother, Dr. Charles S'avage (Andrew Greenough), come to the funeral to be with Dirk. Cindy has been demoted and is currently at war with the shops new manager Simone Loveday (Jacqueline Boatswain). However, she is later fired.
Following losing her job at Price Slice, she begins work at the Emporium, working under Dirk. A big secret is revealed about Cindy in May 2015, a man called Mac Nightingale (David Easter) arrives at her flat, saying he needs a divorce, revealing that Cindy is a bigamist. This is kept a secret and doesn't resurface until October 2015, when Mac arrives in the village with his family, revealing he is the new owner of the Dog In The Pond. Cindy feels awkward when she meets Mac's fiancée, Neeta Kaur (Amrit Maghera). Mac gets on at Cindy to give him a divorce so she lies and gets Simone to print out fake documents. But in January 2016, on Mac and Neeta's wedding day, Cindy realises the mistake she has made and bursts into The Loft, where Mac and Neeta are just about to get married and she reveals that Mac is her husband, shocking Neeta, the Nightingales and Dirk, who has overheard it. Dirk refuses to talk to her but they later reconcile. But turmoil strikes again in February 2016, when Mac's ex-wife Marnie Nightingale (Lysette Anthony) reveals the shock that Mac's son Alfie (Richard Linnell) is Cindy's son too, leaving her horrified and to go on a downward spiral. In June 2016, at Alfie and his girlfriend Jade Albright's (Kassius Nelson) cancer skydive, she proposes romantically to Dirk and he accepts. But in August 2016, Marnie blackmails Cindy into revealing that she had an affair with Freddie to cover herself. In September 2016, Cindy reveals to Dirk she wants to move out of the flat due to the amount of people living in it, herself, Dirk, Holly, little Hilton and newcomer and Dirk's nephew, Nick Savage (Ben-Ryan Davies). She also says she wants to move into one of the new flats that are being built, Royal Oaks. She begins work at Nightingales, as a pot washer but finds herself and Tony treated like slaves by Marnie. She is later delighted that the manager of the Royal Oaks building development, "Mrs Windsor-Davenport" is in fact her sister, Jude. She briefly clashes with Jude and stages a protest against the flats when Jude says she can't have a flat, but this is resolved, however she is unaware that the building development is all a scam.
Character creation and casting
The character of Cindy was created in the early days of the show, and is one of the original members of the Cunningham family.
Auditions were held for the part of Cindy, with actress Laura Crossley going on to secure the part in 1995. Crossley quit the show the following year; the decision was made to recast the part, and 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 that's not even cured 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, when 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.
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". 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 multimillion-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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