Soap operas are having to adapt to a new normal now they’re back in production post-pandemic, with the biggest challenge being the lack of physical contact between actors due to social distancing.
As many storylines revolve around intimate relationships, the current ban on kissing or even hand-holding means on-screen passion will have to be implied instead of seen. But what about couples who are due to tie the knot – what will a soap wedding look like in the age of coronavirus? It’s certainly been on Hollyoaks star Stephanie Waring’s mind.
“I’ve been thinking about Cindy and Luke getting married,” she tells us in an exclusive interview. “It was on the cards and I would still love it to happen eventually, but if we have to stay two metres apart we wouldn’t be able to kiss!
“I’m not sure what the plan is when we start back but if we are still social distancing how would we do it? It’s just bizarre. And I do actually want to kiss Gary Lucy (aka Luke), it makes my day! What can I say, I’m a red-blooded woman…!”
Heritage characters Cindy and Luke have known each other since they were teenagers, but friendship turned to romance when they got together in 2019. There have been a few hurdles, firstly his ex-wife is Cindy’s stepsister Mandy, and Luke has since been diagnosed with a form of dementia that will shorten his life expectancy.
Nevertheless, the couple have stuck together and remain engaged. With production suspended on the soap due to lockdown, filming is set to recommence on 13th July – but will Cindy still become the next Mrs Morgan as planned as the soap builds towards its 25th anniversary?
Waring spoke to RadioTimes.com about Hollyoaks Favourites airing classic episodes from the soap’s early days focusing on her character Cindy Cunningham’s dramatic teenage pregnancy storyline from 1997.
Looking back at her 24-year association with sinful Cind (Waring is the longest-serving female cast member, and the second longest-serving overall after Nick Pickard), the actress also reflected on her other love interests during her eventful tenure.
“Just after she gave birth to Holly, which is what we see in this week’s Hollyoaks Favourites episodes, she had a terrible time during an abusive relationship with a guy called Sean. They lived hand-to-mouth in a horrible caravan, we shot it away from the set on Formby beach. It was very dark. That storyline sticks out for me.
“Looking back I also loved Cindy’s relationship with Darren Osborne,” she smiles. “They were a pair of little schemers together, like Bonnie and Clyde! That’s been lost a little bit, people have forgotten they were together.
“And let’s not forget Cindy also married Tony Hutchinson twice. Gosh, what a lucky man!”
Hollyoaks Favourites continues on E4 at 7pm Wednesdays-Fridays.