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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, the half-sister of Tom Cunningham, the widow of Dirk Savage, ex-wife of Tony Hutchinson, Alistair Longford and Mac Nightingale, the mother of Holly and Hilton Cunningham, and the biological mother of Alfie Nightingale.

The daughter of Angela and Gordon Cunningham, Cindy was the third-born of the couple's four children; Dawn, Jude, Cindy and Max. In 1991, Cindy's parents divorced and all children lived with their mother.

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, and a marriage to Dirk Savage which left her widowed for a second time. She is now dating Luke Morgan, whom she was previously engaged in.


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 hospital, 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, whom she named Holly, 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 and 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.

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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[]

  • 2011-2014: Cindy fans herself as a staircase builds up behind her.
  • 2014-2016: She throws butterflies into the screen and then smiles.
  • 2016-2019: Cindy stands on the balcony and lets go of red balloons. (Jude is added next to her upon her return in 2016.)
  • 2019-: Cindy watches a kite on the City Wall with Tom, Steph and Hilton.

See also[]


Current Characters
Tony HutchinsonCindy CunninghamMandy RichardsonJack OsborneDarren OsborneLuke MorganZara MorganTom CunninghamNancy OsborneSte HayMercedes McQueenWarren FoxJohn Paul McQueenNana McQueenTheresa McQueenTrish MinniverDiane HutchinsonLiberty SavageJoel DexterMaxine MinniverSienna BlakePeri LomaxGrace BlackCleo McQueenScott DrinkwellSally St. ClaireJames NightingaleMarnie NightingaleGoldie McQueenPrince McQueenYasmine CunninghamMisbah MaalikDamon KinsellaImran MaalikSami MaalikOliver MorganSylver McQueenDonna-Marie QuinnRomeo NightingaleBrooke HathawayMartine DeverauxJuliet NightingaleWalter DeverauxSid SumnerCeleste FaroeToby FaroeVerity HutchinsonFelix WestwoodCher McQueenRipley LennoxSummer RangerShaq QureshiFergus CollinsBecky QuentinAli ShahzadNate DenbyOlivia BradshawPearl AndersonDeMarcus Westwood