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Cynthia "Cindy" Cunningham (previously Hutchinson, Longford, Nightingale and Savage) is the daughter of Gordon and Angela Cunningham, the sister of Dawn, Jude and Max Cunningham, the half-sister of Tom Cunningham, the widow of Alistair Longford and Dirk Savage, the ex-wife of Tony Hutchinson and Mac Nightingale, and the mother of Holly and Hilton Cunningham, and Alfie Nightingale.

Cindy was the third-born of Gordon and Angela's four children. In 1991, Cindy's parents divorced and all children lived with their mother in 12 Tatton Crescent until Gordon moved back in to help the family through their troubles.

Having usually kept out of trouble, Cindy was horrified to discover that she was pregnant after sleeping with Lee Stanley on her 16th birthday. With all of the issues the family were facing, Cindy decided to keep her pregnancy to herself, giving birth on Christmas Day and leaving the baby, named Holly, at a fire station. After collapsing at Dawn's funeral, Cindy's family learned of the birth and forced her to be a mother to the baby, resulting in Cindy suffering from post-natal depression which she eventually sought treatment for.

An abusive relationship with Sean Tate in 1999 left Cindy fearing social services when they were forced to get involved, and even more so when Holly swallowed an Ecstasy tablet in the office of The Loft in October 2000. Fearing that she may lose her daughter, Cindy fled to the airport in Tony Hutchinson's car, striking Anna Green, leaving her for dead and fleeing to Spain.

Returning to Chester in 2008, Cindy went on to have two failed marriages to Tony Hutchinson (caused by an affair with Darren Osborne the first time, and Rhys Ashworth the second), a marriage to millionaire Alistair Longford who died on holiday in 2011, a one-night-stand with Paul Browning (whom she played in the role in the death of and cover-up) resulting in the birth of Hilton Cunningham, two bigamous marriages (to Dirk Savage and Mac Nightingale), and a second marriage to Dirk, which left her widowed for a second time. She is now engaged to Luke Morgan.


1995-1997: Pregnancy & Giving Birth

On her sixteenth birthday, Cindy slept with Lee Stanley. She soon discovered that she was pregnant and attempted to tell her mother, Angela. However, Angela was busy sorting out problems of Cindy's sister, Jude, so Cindy decided to keep the pregnancy secret from her family. Cindy planned to abort the baby, but was unable to go through with it, so she attempted to suffer a miscarriage by throwing herself down the stairs, which failed.

Cindy eventually told Lee of her pregnancy. Lee offered to support her and the baby, but Cindy exploded at him, telling him that she hated him and wanted him nowhere near the baby. In October 1997, Cindy learned that Stan had been killed in a car accident, having been heavily drinking since Cindy exploded at him.

The Cunningham family soon discovered that Cindy's sister, Dawn, had been diagnosed with leukaemia. The family were tested to see if they were a match for a bone marrow transplant for Dawn, and were shocked when Cindy refused to get tested out of fear that the results may have displayed that she was pregnant. At Christmas 1997, Cindy gave birth to a daughter inside the backroom of Got It Taped. She abandoned the baby outside of a fire station, and attempted to carry on with life as usual. Later that day, she discovered that Dawn had died from leukaemia.

At Dawn's funeral, Cindy collapsed due to an infection she had developed whilst giving birth. At the hospital, Cindy was forced to reveal all to her parents. She was reunited with the baby, who had been named Holly at the hospital, but revealed that she didn't want to keep her. However, Cindy's mother, Angela, was determined that the baby should stay with the family and forced Cindy to look after baby Holly.

1998-1999: Post-Natal Depression and Relationship with Sean Tate

As a result of being forced into motherhood, Cindy developed post-natal depression. She struggled with looking after Holly, and would allow anyone who asked to look after Holly. Angela was furious when she discovered Cindy had allowed her younger brother, Max, to take Holly out with him. In April 1998, Cindy began to feel overwhelmed attempted to suffocate Holly with a pillow, but was stopped in time by Jude. Jude rushed Holly to hospital, where Cindy realised that she couldn't bare to lose her daughter, and decided to keep Holly.

Despite changing her mind about Holly, Cindy still struggled to adapt to motherhood. She left Holly alone at home to go out with friends, and her father, Gordon found Holly playing dangerously close to the edge of the stairs.

Cindy ended up beginning a relationship with local decorator Sean Tate. Initially, Sean led Cindy to believe that he didn't mind the fact that Cindy was a teenage mother. However, Cindy left Sean to look after Holly, and Sean ignored Holly. Holly ended up getting into the kitchen cupboards and made a mess. When Sean realised what she had done, Sean shouted at Holly before locking her in a cupboard. Max witnessed the incident and informed Cindy, despite Sean's insistence that it was not as it seemed. Cindy refused to listen to Max and accused him of trying to cause trouble.

The abuse towards Holly from Sean continued, as Cindy found bruises on Holly. Cindy accused Max of giving Holly the bruises, but her family believed it was Sean. Cindy was disgusted with her family for blaming Sean and ended up moving into his caravan with him.

In November 1999, on bonfire night, Sean deliberately burnt Holly with a firework. Due to the seriousness of the incident, social services soon got involved and attempted to convince Cindy to move out of Sean's. Gordon and Max took Cindy and Holly back home, but Cindy ended up returning to Sean not too long after. Sean received a job offer in Tenerife, and offered Cindy the chance to bring Holly and move to Tenerife with him. She accepted, but Holly was refused to be allowed to board the plane as she didn't have a passport. Sean ended up leaving Cindy at the airport and Cindy was forced to return to Hollyoaks with Holly.

2000-2004: Hit-And-Run/Departure & Brief Returns

Cindy fell in love with Ben Davies. Cindy and Ben's relationship struggled after she cheated on him with both Dan Hunter and O.B. After beginning work at The Loft, Cindy left Holly asleep in the cloak room, where she found and swallowed an ecstasy tablet. After Holly was rushed to hospital, Cindy realised the social services would soon be involved. Cindy then decided to flee the country to avoid having Holly taken from her, but she ended up running over Anna Green in her car. She left Anna lying on the road and left for Spain with Holly.

Cindy returned from Spain in May 2002 with Holly, due to financial problems. She kept her reasons for returning secret, and started to scam Max and O.B. Cindy also ignited an affair with Scott Anderson, who was cheating on his girlfriend, Steph Dean. In July 2002, after emptying Max & O.B.'s bank accounts, Cindy left for Spain. Upon her return to Spain, Cindy started working as a pole dancer and befriended co-worker Savannah Madeiros.

In February 2004, Cindy returned to the village for her father, Gordon's funeral. Cindy gave Max and O.B. the money that she stole from them, which saved their business. However, Cindy returned to Spain, vowing to never return to the village. Back in Spain, Savannah began to use Holly to smuggle drugs and scammed Cindy. Cindy then started a relationship with a wealthy man, Philip. Philip became violent towards Cindy so she left him, taking his money and leaving Spain.

2008: Return

Cindy returned to the village in June 2008, and moved in with Max. However, she disapproved of Max's fiancée, Steph Dean, believing that she was using Max for his money. After Max was accidentally killed on his wedding day to Steph after being hit by a car driven by Niall Rafferty, Cindy was devastated and decided to stay in the village.

Cindy began flirting with Warren Fox, but he rejected her so Cindy began a relationship with Darren Osborne. However, Darren was later arrested and imprisoned for his role in faking his father, Jack Osborne's death. Cindy ended up dating Rhys Ashworth, another relationship which didn't work. Cindy again tried flirting with Warren, and made enemies with Warren's fiancée, Louise Summers, as a result.

2009-2010: Marriage to Tony Hutchinson

After being hired as a waitress at Il Gnosh, Cindy began a relationship with her employer, Tony Hutchinson, to Darren's jealousy. After Darren admitted to Cindy that he was in love with her, Cindy admitted that she loved him too and they planned to scam Tony out of his money by having Cindy marry him. Tony and Cindy ended up marrying in October 2009. Tony later purchased Tan & Tumble, and Cindy made herself the manager. She ended up turning the business into a clothing shop, Cincerity. Tony initially disapproved, believing that Cindy would do a poor job, but Cindy tried her best to prove him wrong. Cindy and Tony later split and get a divorce

2010-2011: Temporarily Becoming a Millionaire

In August 2010 after her her divorce to Tony, Cindy meets a wealthy man who she 'saves' from choking named Alistair Longford however it was intact Myra McQueen who had saved him but Cindy went along with is especially when she found out he was a millionaire. Cindy then begins to date Allistar and is seen on going on several dates with him and is shocked when he proposes to her but envisions what her life will be like being married to a millionaire so the at first hesitant Cindy accepts the proposal but Cindy is threaten by Jacqui McQueen when she tells Cindy that he will tell Alistair that is was her mother Myra who was the one who saved him.

Cindy's sister in law Steph is not happy when she finds out Cindy is about to marry a rich man at least into his 70s. Cindy is then met with another task when Alistair's very old mother, Blanche Longford arrives to try and stop Cindy's wedding with Alistair after being called by both of her granddaughters Texas and India Longford. However the ceremony still goes ahead but Cindy is told by Blanche that she knows what shes up to. Cindy also comes clean to Alistair that she was not the one who saved him but Myra was however Alistair still wants to marry Cindy and does so.

After departing the village for months, Cindy returns in March 2011 whens its revealed that she has brought the local spar, Look Sharpe, much to the shock if her ex-husband, Tony it's also revealed that Alistair has passed away while they were away and his left Cindy millions of pounds of his money to her. Cindy makes her mark by having the uniform changed and becoming friends with the instructor, Noah Baxter and has multiple run ins with Cheryl Brady.

Cindy also faces problems with her own sister Mandy plans to con her along with Alistair's older granddaughter Texas bit Cindy eventually finds out and is hurt by Mandy's betrayal however she soons forgives Mandy and when Cindy finds the local priest, Father Francis attractive in an effort to impress him Cindy donates a large sum of her own cash towards Father Francis' charity however this is a scam and after Cindy finds out from her friend Carmel Valentine and calls the Police on him which leads to Father Francis being arrested.

2012: Rekindled with Tony & Affair with Rhys Ashworth

By February 2012, Cindy rekindles her romance with Tony not long after Cindy goes bankrupt and when Tony then offers Cindy ro work for him. But Cindy kisses Darren while they both plan his serect wedding with Darren's girlfriend, Nancy Hayton. Cindy then starts to develop feelings for Rhys Ashworth as she helps him when his having problems with his relationship and they begin to sleep together although Cindy starts to feel bad for starting a affair and attempts to call it off a number of times but her feelings towards Rhys get the better of her.

When Tony has an accident and is left with concussion which leads to him being temporarily blinded, Cindy calls it off between her and Rhys so she can look after Tony but as they are saying their farewells and kiss Tony has gained his eye sight back and sees that Cindy has kissed Rhys but despite their affair seemingly been discovered Cindy and Tony still marry and Cindy's daughter, Holly even returns for her mothers wedding however tradgey strikes when a bus driven by student, Maddie Morrison crashes into the venue this causes Rhys to sadly die and Cindy is devastated and heartbroken.

Jacqui finally learns of the affair by Christmas and ends up in a fight with Cindy when she drags Cindy to Rhys' grave and Cindy is shock when Tony does not help her and sides with Jacqui and even threatens to make Cindy homeless along with Holly if she reports Jacqui to the Police about the attack and then Cindy is left even more devastated when Tony files for another divorce but Holly manages to scam money from Darren which allows Cindy to buy a flat.

2013: Murder Cover up

After Paul Browning splits from his wife Mercedes McQueen, Cindy sleeps with him and is beside herself to learn that he is planning on murdering Myra, Mercedes' mother in a attempt to save Myra. Cindy blackmails Browning that she will tell Mercedes of them sleeping together this prompts Browning to be threatening towards Cindy but he pays her off also but having enough of Cindy, Browing finally decides to kill her and attempts to do so by strangling Cindy but does not manage to kill her the next day Cindy awakens in Hospital after being found by Dirk Savage but is unaware what has happened.

After realising that Browning attacked her Cindy is left scared but finally opens up too Lindsey Roscoe another woman who is being terrorized by Browning but before she can go to the Police, Browing threatens Cindy that he will kill her daughter, Holly if she does so but Browning is later arrested for Myra's 'murder' when his caught on CCTV shooting her. The two women make friends with Mercedes after weeks of Mercedes telling them they're wrong and they even get an invite to her 30th birthday party but Browning escapes prison and kills Clare Devine and kidnaps Mercedes, Cindy and Lindsey track down Mercedes who is being attacked by Browning and Cindy hits Browning over the head knocking him unconscious initially Cindy thought and looked to of killed him but when he awakens Mercedes ends up killing him by hitting Browning over the head with a shovel now all a complice to murder, Cindy alone with Lindsey find themselves covering up a murder.

Cindy even hides Browning in a freezer of her shop, Price Slice for some time but the three women have to move his body and are caught by Freddie Roscoe who eventually helps them, Cindy later discovers that she is pregnant with Browning's child not wanting a reminder of Browning, Cindy contemplates weather to have the baby or not but soon comes around to the idea of having a baby and eventually gives birth to a baby boy whom she calls, Hilton Cunningham.

2014-2018: Relationship with Dirk Savage & More Family Issues

Cindy starts a serious relationship with Dirk after months on end being on off with him however not without their problem as Cindy in June 2014 after suffering a breakdown is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder as she also was envisioning, Rhys whom is long dead she also even tries to kill herself and Holly when Cindy drives into a cold Lake and attempts to drown Holly who is trying to save her but Cindy is taken in to get help in the Hostpital leaving Dirk and her daughter Holly upset but Cindy returns on Christmas Eve full of sorrys towards Dirk and Holly but they quickly forgive her as she was not well.

At the beginning of 2015 Cindy finds herself supporting Dirk when his psychopathic son, Will Savage escapes Prison but is Hostpitalized due to being pushed off the roof by Nico Blake but bizarrely Cindy is unaware of the murders Will has committed as well as being unaware that Will is in fact awake from his comatose state and as Cindy leaves Dirk walks in as Will injects her with Morphine which nearly kills Cindy however as shes already in hospital Cindy is quickly able to be saved. Will is later murdered by The Gloved Hand Killer but Cindy is shocked to learn Dirk refused to press the emergency button to get Will help which could have saved him but Cindy accepts what Dirk did. Cindy also has a run in with new store manager, Simone Loveday and in May 2015, Cindy is approached by a man for a divorce and is shocked when he moves to the village as the new The Dog in the Pond owner and his name is Mac Nightingale and it puts her Relationship to Dirk to threat even further so when is discovered that Cindy is the biological mother Alfie Nightingale, Mac's younger son.

However, in January 2016 when Mac is about to marry Neeta Kaur, Cindy makes a scene and reveals that Mac is still married to her this shocks everyone including Dirk who is furious with her and his further more shocked by Cindy's secrets when in February 2016, Mac's ex-wife, Marnie Nightingale reveals that Cindy is Alfie's biological mother but Cjndy and Dirk manage to sort out their secrets when they agree no more lies and serect and by September 2016, Cindy tells Dirk that she wants to live else where with him and Hiton as the flat their living in is housing too many people. Cindy is also delighted when her older sister, Jude returns for a short while and is left scared when Tom goes missing along with The Osborne's but he finally returns home.

In 2017, Cindy is disgusted to learn that Dirks nephew, Nick Savage raped Holly at first this causes tension between Cindy and Dirk but eventually Dirk sides with Holly and hands Nick to the Police where his taken to Prison as too she runs to be the local councillor for the community and is supported by Dirk and has multiple further run ins with Simone. She and Dirk also welcome a new clumsy lodger named Milo Entwistle which Cindy is unaware that he responsible for her parents death. Cindy also finds herself being stalked by the sleezy Detective Gavin Armstrong but Dirk attacks him and he threatens them but he is eventually killed accidentally by Milo.

By 2018, Cindy decides she wants to marry Dirk and vice versa but its put on hold when Holly discovers that her sex tape is on Dirks laptop which was uploaded on their by Milo, Cindy disgusted by what Dirk is supposed to of done quickly ends things ut eventually believes his innocence but Holly forces her to choose between her and Dirk this leads to her and Dirk having a huge argument and Cindy unware that Dirk later sleeps with Myra after throwing him out but Cindy her self beds someone when she sleep with Glenn Donovan but is left worried about Grace Black's warth who is Glenn's girlfriend at the time and even let's, Ellie Nightingale get attacker by Grace but eventually confesses to Grace that she was in fact the woman who slept with Glenn as revenge Cindy is blind folded by Grace and is forced to dance and reveal some very embarrassing serects but is let go by Grace

Cindy rekindles with Dirk and they welcome Milo's older half brother, Theo Jones who knows of Milo's secret unware, Cindy is kept in the dark by Dirk when he finds out who Milo really is and Cindy supports her son Alfie when he is diagnosed with schizophrenia but is left heartbroken when Dirk is accidentally killed by Milo, she is supported by Dirks daughter Liberty Savage and nephew Dennis Savagebut Milo becomes sick of Cindy always letting her family down and draws the line when its revealed Cindy slept with Holly's boyfriend, Damon Kinsella, Milo then kidnaps Cindy where he reveals who he is too which he eventually goes to prison after saving Tom for all the deaths his caused. Cindy manages to make amends with Holly before Holly departs the village.

2019-2021: Relationship & Difficulties with Luke Morgan

By 2019, Cindy starts a relationship with Luke Morgan but their relationship soon met with great difficulty when Luke is diagnosed with a rare form of Dementia and when his son Oliver Morgan gets involved with drugs and becomes a drug addict on top of that Cindy finds herself being disliked by Luke's mother Sue Morgan but eventually makes peace with Sue before she dies. Cindy also discovers that Sue was writing to one of Luke's attackers when he was raped by Mark Gibbs. Cindy discovers that Sue had been writing to Stephen MacGregor since at least the year 2001. Cindy also bonds with as well has many disagreements with Luke's younger sister Zara Morgan whom returns for her mothers funeral and decides to stay for Luke's final months. Cindy then accepts Luke's proposal but is devastated to learn he only has around six months and is heartbroken every time shes having to put up with Luke's iratic behaviour due to his dementia.

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Employment History

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Kill count



Attempted murders

  1. Holly Cunningham, 9th April 1998 - Attempted to suffocate Holly with a cushion whilst suffering from post-natal depression, but was stopped by Jude Cunningham.
  2. Anna Green, 30th October 2000 - Ran over Anna with Tony Hutchinson's car accidentally, but left her for dead.
  3. Paul Browning, 16th October 2013 - Hit over the head with a shovel in defence of Mercedes McQueen.

Background Information

Introduction shots

See also


Current Characters
Tony HutchinsonCindy CunninghamJack OsborneDarren OsborneLuke MorganZara MorganTom CunninghamNancy OsborneSte HayMercedes McQueenWarren FoxJohn Paul McQueenCharlie DeanLeah BarnesNana McQueenElla RichardsonTheresa McQueenLucas HayDiane HutchinsonKathleen-Angel McQueenLiberty SavageBobby CostelloJoel DexterMaxine MinniverSienna BlakeMatthew-Jesus McQueenPeri LomaxLeela LomaxGrace BlackMinnie MinniverCleo McQueenScott DrinkwellSally St. ClaireJames NightingaleGoldie McQueenPrince McQueenYasmine CunninghamMisbah MaalikDamon KinsellaImran MaalikSebastian FoxSophie FoxOliver MorganDonna-Marie QuinnRomeo NightingaleBrooke HathawayMartine WestwoodJuliet NightingaleSid SumnerVerity HutchinsonFelix WestwoodRipley LennoxShaq QureshiSaul ReevesOlivia BradshawPearl AndersonDeMarcus WestwoodSerena Chen-WilliamsEthan WilliamsDave Chen-WilliamsHonour Chen-WilliamsSam Chen-WilliamsLizzie Chen-WilliamsMason Chen-WilliamsZoe AndersonZain RanderiEric FosterNadira ValliNorma CrowVicky Grant