Steph Cunningham

Steph Cunningham

Stephanie "Steph" Roach (née Dean; previously Cunningham) is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Carley Stenson. She debuted on-screen during the episode airing on 8 March 2000 and is the second longest featured regular female character in the history of Hollyoaks. Steph was introduced into the serial by executive producer Jo Hallows. In 2009 Stenson decided to quit, but the then producer Lucy Allan convinced her to stay to play out a dramatic storyline. The announcement of her departure was made public in June 2010. Stenson's fellow cast members have described her as a "Hollyoaks legend" because of her lengthy duration.

Steph has been described as having a highly confident persona, a trait Stenson enjoyed portraying throughout. Steph is also played as "fame hungry". She is noted for a number of high-profile storylines such as the portrayal of bullying in a school environment, the portrayal of epilepsy, which Stenson felt had been a 'taboo subject' for too long. Other stories include becoming a widow and her involvement in Niall's revenge plot and her constant desire for fame. One of Steph's final storylines was the portrayal of cervical cancer, which Stenson conducted extensive research into. The character was subsequently killed off in a special block of episodes branded by the media as "fire week". She made her final appearance to date on 30 March 2011 in a video message she left to her husband Gilly. Some critics described her final storylines as "upsetting" and "surprising". Steph's relationship with Gilly Roach was viewed unfavourable by most. Stenson has been nominated for several different awards for her portrayal of Steph.

Read more about Steph Cunningham:  Reception

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