The long-awaited opening of Tom and Cindy Cunningham’s eco-friendly, carbon-neutral, sustainable market became a touching tribute both to their parents and Hollyoaks fans.
Throwing away his cue cards (“I’ll recycle them later”) Tom had the whole village welling up and applauding as he spoke from the heart about his mum and dad.
Gordon (Bernard Latham) and Helen (Kathryn George) died when Milo Entwistle (real name Simon Jones) lost control of his work van and crashed into their car with a young Tom traumatised sitting in the back seat.
“I don’t have many memories of them because I was just a kid,” says Tom. “I’m not saying that for sympathy because I never really wanted for anything in life. Thanks to my sisters (Cindy and Mandy), Jack and Darren I always felt like part of a family.
“You made this village my home. You made it special. I could have run off to uni or gone and travelled the world but there’s just no place like Hollyoaks. Raise your glasses to our mad little village and to our parents.”
The Grande Bazaar didn’t disappoint in delivering that madness. The stalls are all named by pun-tastic super nerd Tom (Ellis Hollins) including Burger She Wrote and Sweater Thunberg, for all the residents vintage clothing needs.
In Monday’s Feb 17 episode Cindy (Stephanie Waring) hugged her “amazing brother” as he explained that the market was about giving back to the community (which was nearly decimated by it when a drunk Luke Morgan ran amok with a crane) and restoring the Cunningham legacy.
“It’s about our family finally getting back on the top of the village,” said Tom. “Just like Dad. And we’re gonna do it the right way just like he would have.”
Councillor and entrepreneur Gordon Cunningham opened his own Drive N’By convenience store in the Nineties in the soap and was landlord when Tony Hutchinson opened video rental store Got It Taped.
After the end credits of Tuesday’s first look E4 episode Tom shared a quiet moment with his parents’ plaque: “I hope I did you proud.”
Visit our dedicated Hollyoaks page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.