Amanda Clapham as Holly Cunningham (2013)
|Portrayed by||Karis Sharkey (1997–2004)
Lydia Waters (2008–10)
Wallis Day (2012–13)
Amanda Clapham (2013–)
|Duration||1997–2001, 2002, 2004, 2008–10, 2012–|
|First appearance||25 December 1997|
|Created by||Phil Redmond|
|Introduced by||Phil Redmond (1997)
Jo Hallows (2002, 2004)
Bryan Kirkwood (2008)
Emma Smithwick (2012)
|Hollyoaks Later (2009, 2013)|
Shop Assistant (2013-)
|Home||5 Oakdale Drive, Flat 2|
Holly Cunningham (previously Hutchinson) is a fictional character from the long-running Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks. Holly first appeared on 25 December 1997 before departing in 2001. Holly made further appearances in 2002 and later in 2004. In 2008 Holly returned to the serial played by Lydia Waters before departing in 2010. In November 2012, the character was reintroduced, now played by Wallis Day. Day quit the show, making her final appearance on 22 October 2013. The character was recast, with actress Amanda Clapham taking over the role, she made her first appearance as Holly on 19 November 2013.
In 2008, Lydia Waters auditioned for the role of Holly. She was one of 54 candidates up for the role of Holly, who had previously appeared in Hollyoaks between 1997 and 2001, with returns in 2002 and 2004. After several audition stages at the shows studios in Liverpool, Waters was given the role of Holly and began filming in April 2008. She made her first appearance in June 2008. Speaking of Water's portrayal of Holly's character, a Channel 4 spokesperson stated: "She will be quite a stroppy eleven-year-old who knows her own mind — like her mum's character. There's a big storyline involving Max [Cunningham] at the end of June, and they will be involved in that".
In December 2011, Hollyoaks producer Emma Smithwick told Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy in an interview, "We've talked about Holly, but again, there have been a lot of new characters coming in and we'd quite like to keep the cast a bit more stable......Once we deliver a fuller character for Cindy, then the question of Holly would come into play", indicating that there were no current plans to re-introduce Holly into the series. In October 2012 it was announced that Holly would return on 14 November now played by Wallis Day. Kilkelly announced that the character would cause "mischief" upon her return. She initially "seems to be a well-mannered and sophisticated 14-year-old at first glance. However, her true bratty nature is soon revealed and it seems that she could be a mini-Cindy". Cindy is unaware of Holly's resentment of her due to her unstable upbringing. Speaking of her casting, Day said: "I am thrilled to have been cast as Holly Cunningham as I've been a fan of Hollyoaks for many years [...] Holly is a really exciting character with plenty of surprises up her sleeve, so you'd better watch to see what happens".
Stephanie Waring who plays Holly's mother Cindy praised Day saying she is "excited to work with her" and thinks she is going to "be a little bit of a mini-Cindy, but maybe even worse!" Waring expressed shock at some of the lines the character says and added that she would find it "interesting to see how the audience reacts to that, but I certainly like her". Waring also noted that "Wallis is actually older than Holly, so I'm not happy about having an 18-year-old daughter, because I don't look old enough! But obviously Holly is 14, so she's a lot younger than Wallis. I was 18 when I was playing Cindy as 15, so it's the same sort of scenario. Wallis reminds me of me, but she's a lot more beautiful than I was!" When Day began appearing, viewers complained about the realism of 18-year-old playing a 14 year old. Waring defended the recasting through social networking site Twitter, saying that it does not matter that she looks older than 15 as a lot of 15 year olds look like adults. Waring added that if Hollyoaks wanted somebody who looked like Waters they would not have recast the character.
In October 2013, it was announced that Wallis Day would be re-cast after less than a year of being on-screen as Holly, it was announced that the character would be replaced with Amanda Clapham taking over the role of Holly, executive producer Bryan Kirkwood said: "We're very sad to see Wallis go but respect her decision. I felt Holly is too good a character to lose, so we have recast the role and fans will see her later this autumn." A show spokesperson added: "A decision was made to recast the role ahead of some major storylines for the character which will take Holly in a different direction. Wallis Day has been a popular cast member and we wish her every success in her future."
Holly was conceived during her mother's sixteenth birthday. Holly's father Lee Stanley (Nathan Valente) is killed during a road accident shortly before her birth. After Holly is born, Cindy abandons her outside the hospital and desperately tries to carry on as normal. She returns home a few hours later and was told that her sister Dawn (Lisa Williamson) had died of leukaemia. Cindy's parents, Gordon (Bernard Latham) and Angela (Liz Stooke), found out about her secret pregnancy and forced her into motherhood. Cindy then begins to love Holly. Cindy is forced to take Holly to work at The Loft with her. Holly falls asleep in the cloakroom. She awakens and finds an ecstasy tablet, which she swallows. Holly is rushed to hospital and Cindy knows social services would take her away. Cindy concludes that she has no choice but to flee the country. She takes Holly from hospital and leaves for the airport. Cindy and Holly return in May 2002, where she scams brother Max (Matt Littler) and OB (Darren Jeffries) out of their money. She and Holly then left again. In 2004, Cindy and Holly return for Gordon and Helen (Kathryn George)'s funerals.
In June 2008, Holly and Cindy return from Spain. After the death of Max, Cindy and Holly decide to stay in Hollyoaks. In Max's will, he leaves Holly £3, 000, which can only be accessed after her eighteenth birthday. Cindy sends Holly to spy on Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas) after Louise Summers (Roxanne McKee) accuses her of having an affair with him. On her first day of school, Cindy forgets to pick Holly up. She is taken in by Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard), whom Cindy assumes is a paedophile after sleeping with fifteen-year-old Theresa McQueen (Jorgie Porter).
Cindy begins a relationship with Rhys Ashworth (Andrew Moss). Holly and Rhys continue arguing. However, one day Holly apparently goes missing, although actually hides from Rhys, who lures her out of hiding with an episode of University Challenge. Holly and Rhys strike a friendship, however, Cindy ends her relationship with him. Tom Cunningham (Ellis Hollins) and Holly find out Mercedes Fisher (Jennifer Metcalfe) had been stealing food from Il Gnosh, which she begins selling for profit. The pair then expose her. Cindy begins to get close to Tony, who impresses Cindy and Holly. Tony propose to Cindy and the pair get married, after which, Holly changes her surname to Hutchinson. Holly is electrocuted at The Dog in the Pond by Darren Osborne (Ashley Taylor Dawson)'s Christmas lights. Holly is not breathing, but Darren resuscitates her; he tells Cindy that she was resuscitated by Jake.
In February 2010 Cindy sees an advert for an under-twelves talent show and announces that Holly will be entering. Holly isn't all that keen but agrees to do it, thinking she can get more attention from her mum. Holly realises that Cindy has her own selfish motives for wanting her to win. Holly then overheard Cindy tell Tony that the talent show wasn't important. Holly tries to talk to Tony's brother Dom (John Pickard), who is preparing a meal in the kitchen, about how Cindy istreating her. Dom gets distracted, drops his pan of food on the floor and shouts at Holly, who runs off, leaving Holly feeling even more isolated and alone.
When Holly hears Cindy wants her to start at boarding school, Holly is upset and blames Tony for trying to get rid of her. Holly is upset and she runs away. After looking for her themselves they have no choice but to phone the police. Holly watched from Darren Osborne's flat where it transpires she is hiding without his knowledge. Darren finds Holly in his flat and asked her to stay there while he got a DVD. Instead he goes to get Cindy and Tony but when they get to Darren's flat she is gone. It later transpires she has moved to hide at Spencer (Darren John Langford)'s flat. Holly tells Spencer that she wants a new coat so they go out to buy her one. Holly waits in a disguise outside for Spencer but isrecognised by Jake Dean (Kevin Sacre) who chases after her. However, she falls over and hits her head on the pavement, knocking herself unconscious. Jake takes Holly back to Cindy and is accused of kidnapping Holly; she is rushed to hospital where she falls into a coma. Holly eventually wakes up and she refuses to tell Cindy and Tony what had happened to her. Eventually Holly comes to forgive Tony and Cindy and after talking to Tony at the hospital, Holly overhears Cindy and Tony talking about giving their marriage another chance and Holly admits that she loves them both and wants them in her life. A fully recovered Holly goes home a few days later with Tony and Cindy. After Cindy splits from Tony, Cindy quickly becomes engaged to rich pensioner Alistair Longford (Terence Harvey). On the wedding day, Cindy reassures Holly that she is marrying him so Holly can have a better life, they then all leave together. When Cindy returns in 2011 as a widowed millionaire she tells Darren that she left Holly in boarding school in Switzerland.
In November 2012, Holly returned during Cindy, Tony, Doug Carter (PJ Brennan) and Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson)'s double wedding. During the reception a mini bus driven by Maddie Morrison (Scarlett Bowman) crashes through the wedding venue. Holly is left uninjured and returns to Switzerland. Holly returns to the village after learning about Cindy's attack which took place on Christmas Day and visits her in hospital. It is clear that she is far from interested about her mother's recovery and is asked by Tony and Myra to stay at the McQueens, much to her disapproval. When Cindy's condition improves, she returns home and lives with Cindy and Tony, in the midst of their fractured marriage.
During the ongoing domestic turmoil between Cindy and Tony, Holly feels neglected and isolated and goes clubbing at Chez Chez with Theresa McQueen (Jorgie Porter) and Sinead O'Connor (Stephanie Davis). After consuming a lot of alcohol, she is ejected by Kevin Foster (Elliot Balchin), and Sinead takes her back home to the O'Connors'. Although Holly is vomiting excessively, her and Sinead convince Diane O'Connor (Alexandra Fletcher) not to bring her back to Cindy, else she might be punished, so she stays the night there. The next morning Diane takes a hungover Holly back home. After Cindy has a heated encounter with Diane, Holly later has a bad argument with her mother, and accuses her of being a bad parent. Cindy and Holly later make up and agree to move out of Tony's. They move into the flat above the Price Slice convenience store. Cindy is also offered a job at Price Slice, resulting in Frankie Osborne (Helen Pearson) getting sacked. This utterly displeases Frankie since the Osbornes are in a state of economic unrest. Furthermore, when Nancy Osborne (Jessica Fox) discovers two and a half thousand pounds cash in an envelope, she becomes suspicious that her husband Darren Osborne (Ashley Taylor Dawson) is gambling. As she is confronting him at the Dog, Holly intervenes and tells Nancy the cash belongs to Cindy and her, so she gives it to Holly. Darren initially believes that Holly was merely helping him hide that he was gambling, which Holly was aware of. However, when he later asks Holly to return his money, she refuses, threatening to inform Nancy of his gambling if he tries to get it back.
After arguing with Sinead, Holly reports her to social services for drug-dealing as she has a baby causing problems for Sinead. Holly later begins a relationship with Callum Kane (Laurie Duncan). Callum and Holly go on a camping trip with Esther Bloom (Jazmine Franks), Tilly Evans (Lucy Dixon) and Jade Hedy (Lucy Gape). While Callum and Holly are messing around with a shotgun, Holly nearly shoots a man. Callum and Holly take the man in and apologize,finding out his name is Wes. Wes forgives them. However, when Wes and Holly are alone, Wes acts violent towards her. Holly tells Callum about this although Callum refuses to believe it causing them to argue. During a house party on the trip, Wes joins Holly alone in the bedroom. Wes forces Holly to let him take topless pictures of her or he will report her to the police for nearly shooting him. He is then interrupted by Theresa, who is also at the party, and Wes then leaves. The next day, Wes threatens to shoot Holly with the shotgun. Callum walks in on Wes doing this, and they fight after Wes reveals the topless pictures he has of Holly. The fight causes a head injury for Wes, with Callum and Holly thinking that he is dead and leaving the room. Wes is actually alive, however, although Jade then stabs him dead. When Jade ties Esther up, she plans to kill her although Callum tries to save her. Jade then kils Callum with a sword, however, in order to stop him. Jade then ties Holly up although Tilly eventually kills Jade during a fight and releases Holly.
Holly, (Amanda Clapham) still trying to cope with Callum's death gets drunk with Robbie then later kisses Jason and they start dating. After a rocky start they decide to have sex, but it doesn't turn out well and they try again. Patrick takes Holly's phone when Jason makes a comment about his family. Jason breaks into Patrick's home and steals Holly's phone back but Holly isn't pleased after what he done.
- Jefferson-Brown, Nadia (6 June 2008). "Primary school pupil to play stroppy child in Hollyoaks". York Press. (Gannett Company). Retrieved 15 January 2009.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (6 December 2011). "Hollyoaks: More chat from producer Emma Smithwick".
- Kilkelly, Daniel (26 October 2012). "'Hollyoaks': Cindy's daughter Holly returning to soap". Digital Spy. (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (6 November 20122). "'Hollyoaks': Stephanie Waring "excited" over Holly return". Digital Spy. (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Millar, Paul (15 November 2012). "Stephanie Waring defends 'Hollyoaks' daughter recasting". Digital Spy. (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Green, Kris (26 November 2009). "2699: Holly is electrocuted". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2009-12-03.