Hollyoaks Wiki
Hollyoaks Wiki
Character Profile   List of appearances    

Shirley Paul Browning is the late ex-husband of Helen Browning and Mercedes McQueen, and the father of Alex Browning and Hilton Cunningham.


The official Hollyoaks‍ '​ website describes Browning as being "affectionately known as 'Doctor Sleaze'", explaining that he has an "incredible capacity for Sleaze". They add that the character's "driving motivation is his obsession with Mercedes. He's a man who needs to be in control and is not afraid to use underhand tactics to assert his power over the situation".



Browning pays Mercedes for sex and asks to keep seeing her and gives her more money. When Lynsey resuscitates a DNR patient; Browning tells her that the department are investigating the incident, he admits he forgot to write the patient's DNR request on their notes. He threatens to report Lynsey and Mercedes tries to convince him not to. Mercedes discovers Browning is married and threatens to tell his wife of their relationship if Browning reports Lynsey for resuscitating the DNR patient. He later promises not to report Lynsey who is later given her job back as a nurse. Mercedes later calls Browning and arranges a meeting. She sleeps with him again for money and the next day he goads Lynsey about it. She warns him to stay away from her because Mercedes is not well and accuses him of taking advantage. He later treats Carmel Valentine for her burn injuries and catches Lynsey attempting to view Simon Walker's medical records.

Who Killed Lynsey, Relationship with Mercedes, Unveiled as Lynsey's killer & Arrest[]

After discharging Mercedes from hospital, Lynsey is found dead and Browning confirms her time of death. He forges Mercedes' discharge papers so it appears as though she left hospital after Lynsey's murder. He moves into the flat next door to Riley Costello to be closer to Mercedes. He blackmails Mercedes with the papers and tells her that she can make Riley jealous if they pretend to be in a relationship. His wife, Helen Browning, visits Mercedes and warns her that Browning will ruin her life. She has a black eye and Mercedes uses this to give Riley the impression that Doctor Browning has been hitting her. He tells Riley that Mercedes is lying and she leaves him. Doctor Browning finds Mercedes and they share their secrets about bad deeds. He tells her that he loves her no matter what she has done and they become closer. Jacqui McQueen discovers Lynsey's scarf in his office desk and assumes that he is the killer. It is later revealed that Doctor Browning went to threaten Lynsey into keeping quiet about Mercedes stalking Mitzeee. They argued and he strangled her, not knowing that Walker was watching. When Mercedes finds out the truth, Doctor Browning kidnaps her and drives off. He suggests that they go abroad and Mercedes agrees, but the police arrive and arrest him.

Trial, Release, Proposing to Mercedes & Switching Myra's medical results[]

At the trial for Lynsey's murder, Browning pleads not guilty and is later acquitted when he blames Riley for Lynsey's murder, after Riley's death. Browning surprises Mercedes on Christmas Eve and spends Christmas with Mercedes' family. Mercedes is thrown out by her family and Browning proposes marriage to her which she accepts. When Mercedes' mother, Myra McQueen begins feeling ill, Browning suggests she come and see him at the hospital as she may have a serious illness. He carries out some scans on her and switches her results with another patient so it appears as if she has cancer. Browning suggests that Myra may not have long to live so should remain close to her family and make up with Mercedes.

When he tells Myra that she's not going to die, Jim McGinn, a lawyer, suggests that Myra could sue and get a lot of money. When Browning hears this he asks his boss if he'd make sure he didn't get fired in exchange for anything. His boss, Davies, says that he'll make sure nothing happens to Browning in exchange for one night with Mercedes. Browning says that that was a ridiculous idea, but when Mercedes finds out, she tells Browning that she'll do it, but then stop dating Browning. When Mercedes goes, she decides to video everything that happens, but Davies finds out and proceeds to try and rape her but Browning saves her.

Mercedes kidnapped, Second proposal, Lindsey's arrival & Stalking Lindsey[]

In 2013, when Clare Devine kidnaps Mercedes, Browning finds Clare and tries to strangle her in her hotel but Jim turns up and saves her. When finding out where Mercedes is, he tries to save her but gets knocked unconscious with a rock by Clare who locks him in the cage with her but when Clare is arrested they are saved by the police. He then proposes to Mercedes. After the events a new doctor appears called Lindsey Roscoe which infuriates him because he killed Lynsey and that reminded him of her name. He begins stalking her which makes Mercedes think that he is having an affair with her.

Wedding to Mercedes, Attempted rape of Lindsey, Sleeping with Cindy & Attempted murder of Cindy[]

On their wedding day, Mercedes confronts Lindsey accusing her of having an affair with Browning, which leads to a catfight which has to be broken up by Browning. Browning grabs Lindsey off Mercedes so her fiancé Joe Roscoe punches him after he thinks he is attacking Lindsey. After the events, Mercedes and Browning finally get married. Days after the wedding, Browning begins stalking Lindsey again and locks himself in a lift with her and tries to rape her but Lindsey scratches his face and runs away. He then has a one-night stand with Cindy Cunningham and after she threatens to tell Mercedes he tries to kill her in the Hollyoaks high school storeroom but she survives and recovers.

Attempted murder of Myra and Mercedes, Arrest & Confessing to his crimes[]

When Myra tries to split up Browning and Mercedes, he hires Trevor Royle to kill her but he fails and she survives which angers Browning. Myra suspects he is behind it and tells everyone that he is a murderer and puts up posters that he is a murderer so Browning and Trevor agree to kill her. However, when Jim finds out he plans to help her escape. Mercedes learns of the plan and goes along with it. Mercedes gets a gun and points it at Browning but he overpowers her and locks her in the bathroom and takes the gun. Trevor goes to kill Myra but Jim helps her escape so Browning goes to kill her. He finds her by a dock and shoots her into the water just before Jim comes to take her away. It is then revealed that she survived because Jim gave her a bullet proof vest then she decides to go live in Spain so Browning goes to prison. When he gets home he tells Mercedes he killed Myra so Mercedes reluctantly agrees that she deserved it until they get to the loft and Mercedes attacks Browning. Browning manages to overpower her and tries to kill her until Jim interrupts and he is arrested. He tells Trevor he killed Myra and he confesses to the murders of Lynsey and Myra and the attempted murder of Cindy and attempted rape of Lindsey.

Escape from prison, Killing Clare & Death[]

In October 2013, Browning escapes from prison and when Mercedes finds out she ignores the fact that he has and carries on with her life however when Fraser Black and Jim get Clare out of prison, Clare plants a bomb in the loft where Mercedes is having her party. On her birthday Trevor, who is carrying the bomb, puts money in an identical bag and Sinead Shelby takes the bag with the bomb believing it was the bag with the money in to Doug Carter and Ste Hay's leaving party. Trevor tries to stop Clare from detonating the bomb but fails and the council flats are blown up, killing Doug, Ash Kane and Leanne Savage. Mercedes finds out and fights with Clare and throws her in front of an oncoming car which kills her. The driver turns out to be Browning who kidnaps Mercedes.

Browning takes Mercedes back to the McQueen household and keeps her hostage in there. When she mocks him about her affair with Trevor, he beats her up. He tries to kill her but gets hit with a shovel by Cindy, who is with Lindsey, and they believe he is dead until he wakes up and attacks Cindy and Lindsey, however Mercedes hits him with the shovel and hits him again killing him.


They put him in the Price Slice freezer but when it breaks they hire Freddie Roscoe to get rid of the body. Freddie puts him in a car and throws it off a cliff and they all agree to keep quiet.

In February 2014, Cindy gives birth to her and Browning's son Hilton Cunningham.


Doctor Browning first strikes in 2012 when he murders Lynsey Nolan 'To protect his wife Mercedes McQueen' Walker sees this unaware to Browning. He later runs Clare Devine over in October 2013 after her and Mercedes have a fight .

Kill Count[]

Murder Victims[]

  • Total: 2

Attempted Murder Victims[]

  • Clare Devine, 10th April 2013 - Attempted to strangle to death but was interrupted by Jim McGinn.
  • Myra McQueen, 7th August 2013 - Attacked her whilst she was working late and knocked her unconscious. He was about to strangle her to death but was interrupted by Jim and Carmel McQueen and he ran off.
  • Cindy Cunningham, 22nd August 2013 - Strangled her to stop her telling Mercedes about their one-night-stand, but she later regained consciousness and recovered in hospital.
  • Myra McQueen, 3rd September 2013 - Shot her in the chest and she fell into the water at the docks. Myra was later revealed to be alive as she was wearing a bullet proof vest, given to her by Jim.
  • Mercedes McQueen, 4th September 2013 - Strangled her in a fit of rage. Browning then gave her a shot of adrenaline and Mercedes regained consciousness.
  • Mercedes McQueen, 16th October 2013 - Strangled her after hearing about her affair with Trevor Royle, but was hit over the head with a shovel by Cindy and knocked unconscious.
  • Lindsey Roscoe, 16th October 2013 - Regained consciousness and attempted to attack Lindsey but was attacked and killed with a shovel by Mercedes.
  • Total: 7