Mandy Richardson

Mandy Richardson
Mandy Richardson
Sarah Jayne Dunn as Mandy (2008).
Hollyoaks character
Portrayed by Sarah Jayne Dunn
Introduced by Phil Redmond (1996)
Bryan Kirkwood (2007)
Paul Marquess (2010)
Duration 1996–2006, 2007, 2008, 2010–11
First appearance 7 October 1996
Last appearance 2 September 2011
Classification Former; regular
Date of birth 18 June 1981
Occupation Waitress (2008)
Wedding planner (2008)
Spa Manager (2011)

Mandy Richardson (previously Hutchinson) is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Sarah Jayne Dunn. She debuted on-screen during October 1996 and has been involved in such storylines including dealing with sexual abuse while she was a child by her father Dennis (David McAllister), numerous failed relationships, and the death of daughter Grace to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Dunn left the series in 2006, making brief returns in 2007 and 2008. She returned again in 2010 in a storyline which also saw the return of Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas). In September 2011, Dunn announced her departure from the show and Mandy made her last appearance on 2 September 2011 before departing the village offscreen.



The Mirror described her as the "whiny, but strangely also rather loveable Mandy".[1]

Creation and development

Sarah Jayne Dunn was cast in 1996 as Mandy, a member of the Richardson family. In 2006, Dunn decided to quit the show after 10 years.[2][3]

In 2008, Dunn signed a 6-month contract to return to the soap.[4] Speaking of her return, Dunn admitted she was thrilled to be returning, stating: "I always said 'never say never' so it was nice not to be killed off. I don't think I can look as it as going back because it's still a job in the industry and when you're an actor you just want to be working. Hollyoaks is riding such a wave at the moment — it's a great time to be there."[5] She later expressed her feelings towards returning: "The cast has changed a bit but the lovely thing is most of the crew are the same. I felt a bit like the new girl on the first day but within an hour it was as if I'd been there ages. I actually asked to come back. It seemed the right time for my character," she continued; "Mandy came back for Max's wedding and stayed for his funeral, but I wanted to return and re-establish the character rather than just dip in and out. I've worked quite a lot since and can bring that experience to Mandy, who has changed a lot. I am contracted for six months which means I'll be on-screen until the end of the year — who knows what will happen after that? I'm just happy to be back and having a brilliant time, which is all I'm concentrating on at the moment."[4]

Mandy's return coincided with the exit of Matt Littler, who portrayed Mandy's stepbrother Max Cunningham. Following her return, Mandy was involved in an affair storyline with Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas). Her exit, and end to the storyline, also saw the departure of Roxanne McKee, who played Louise Summers. In 2009, it was rumoured that Dunn could make a possible return to the soap, along with McKee, for the exit of Lomas.[6]

In September 2010, Dunn stated on her Twitter account that she would be returning to Hollyoaks later in 2010 for a "few episodes".[7] It was confirmed on the official Hollyoaks website on 26 October 2010 that she would return in the episode of the same day.[8] Speaking of her return, Dunn stated, "It's great to be back, I feel like I've never been away and it's fantastic to work with all my old friends. I'm really excited about being a part of the show again and about the storylines that producer Paul Marquess and the rest of the team have in the pipeline for Mandy."[9] Dunn also praised her return storyline, which featured a more edgier side to Mandy. She told Manchester Evening News, "At the moment she's come back and she's causing loads of trouble. It's quite nice because they put a different spin on the character. When they asked me back they said, 'This is what the storyline is going to be', and I said, 'Brilliant, it sounds loads of fun'. It's totally unexpected, I think, for everyone watching."[10]

Profiling Mandy, Virgin Media state: "Mandy never had it easy." Also branding her "a bit of a bossy boots with a domineering personality" and make note of her troubled life stating: "she has gone through varying degrees of popularity throughout her Hollyoaks life but has undoubtedly also been put through the mill."[11]

In September 2011, Dunn revealed she had left Hollyoaks again and already finished filming.[12]


Mandy first appears as a naive schoolgirl who dreams of becoming a model, and becomes the underage temptress of Ollie Benson (Paul Leyshon). It is revealed that Mandy's father Dennis (David McAllister) had sexually and physically abused her when she was younger. Mandy finds the strength to take a stand against her father and he is sentenced to seven years in prison. Mandy's life slowly returns to normal and she begins a relationship with Luke Morgan (Gary Lucy). When Luke is raped by Mark Gibbs (Colin Parry), he feels ashamed and ends his and Mandy's relationship. Unaware of the true reasons for Luke splitting up with her, Mandy embarks on short-lived relationships with Darren Osborne (Ashley Taylor Dawson) and Ben Davies (Marcus Patric). Luke admits the true reasons for ending the relationship to Mandy, who agrees to support him.

Tony and Mandy's wedding (2005).

Mandy helps deliver half brother Tom Cunningham (Ellis Hollins) following their's mother Helen Cunningham's (Kathryn George) pregnancy. Mandy's brother Lewis Richardson (Ben Hull) commits suicide following debt problems, which causes Mandy and Helen's relationship to suffer. After Mandy and Jamie Nash (Stefan Booth) sleep together, Adam Morgan (David Brown) confronts her about her behaviour and they pair are involved in a car accident, which leaves Adam paralysed. Mandy and local barman Toby Mills (Henry Luxembourg) begin a short relationship, which Toby ends. Mandy and Adam then begin a secret relationship, which ends when she sleeps with Luke again. Due to losing both Adam and Luke, Mandy confides in friend Laura Burns (Lesley Crawford), who becomes obsessed with Mandy. Laura attacks Mandy and locks her in her flat, later attempting to kill her. Mandy's stepbrother Max Cunningham (Matt Littler) rescues her with the help of Adam, Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard), Becca Hayton (Ali Bastian) and Laura's brother Brendan. Laura is later sectioned and Mandy is informed of her mental health issues.

Mandy finds out her mother is having an affair with Tony, which soon ends, and also discovers that her father, who is dying of liver cancer, is being released from prison. After Dennis's release, Mandy confronts him and refuses to forgive him. She then buys him alcohol to make his death come sooner. When he eventually does die, Mandy begins to rebuild her life, turning to Tony for support despite his former affair with Helen. They become a couple, but soon cheat on each other; Tony with Ruth Osborne (Terri Dwyer) and Mandy with Ben. Despite this, they continue their relationship. When Helen and Gordon Cunningham (Bernard Latham) are killed in a car accident, Mandy is given guardianship of Tom, but later puts him in Max's care. Mandy's emotional turmoil worsens when she suffers a miscarriage, which causes her to hit Tony. After Tony is arrested for hitting her back, Mandy admits to abusing him first, they seek counselling and eventually marry in Rome. Shortly after returning, Mandy falls pregnant and gives birth to Grace Hutchinson. Grace dies of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome whilst under the supervision of teenagers Nancy Hayton (Jessica Fox) and Hannah Ashworth (Emma Rigby). A devastated Mandy is unable to talk to Tony about her daughter's death, turning instead to his brother Dominic Reilly (John Pickard). After sharing a brief kiss, Mandy leaves Tony and the village.

Mandy returns in 2007 for Becca's funeral after she is killed in prison. Mandy tells Tony that she is pregnant and in a serious relationship with a man named Mark. Months later, Tony receives a letter from Mandy informing him that she had given birth to a girl named Ella.

Mandy returns to Hollyoaks again in June 2008 with Ella to attend the wedding of Max to Steph Dean (Carley Stenson). On her arrival, she reveals she and Mark have split up. Mandy and Tony's then-partner Jacqui McQueen (Claire Cooper) begin a feud, Jacqui believing Mandy to be a threat. After the wedding, Max is run over and killed by Niall Rafferty (Barry Sloane). Mandy then decides to stay in Hollyoaks, becoming a wedding planner with Louise Summers (Roxanne McKee) for Carmel McQueen (Gemma Merna). Mandy works closely with Louise's fiancé Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas), which causes Louise to become suspicious of them. Mandy's stepsister Cindy Cunningham (Stephanie Waring) then makes Louise believe Mandy and Warren are having an affair. However, this pushes Warren further away from Louise, who turns to alcohol. Following more accusations from a drunken Louise, Mandy and Warren sleep together and begin an affair. Louise apologises for her behaviour. Cindy is suspicious of Mandy and Warren after finding Mandy's underwear. Louise then attacks Cindy, believing she is trying to split her and Warren up.

Warren ends his affair with Mandy, who, devastated, tells Louise the truth. After slapping Mandy, Louise tells her that Warren had murdered her previous husband, Sean Kennedy (Matthew Jay Lewis). A shocked Mandy reluctantly agrees to set Warren up before stealing his money. However, unknown to Mandy, Louise plots to kill Warren and frame Mandy. On the wedding day, CCTV footage of Warren and Mandy is shown to the wedding guests by Jacqui and Myra McQueen (Nicole Barber-Lane). Meanwhile, Louise and Warren have a confrontation after he finds the gun she had planned to kill him with. He then suffocates her. Mandy decides to leave the village once more with Tony, much to the jealousy of Jacqui but Tony later returns.

Off-screen in 2009, Tony and Mandy go travelling, deciding to give their relationship another go. However, when Mandy tells Tony that she may not be able to have children of her own anymore, he is upset and returns to Hollyoaks, leaving Mandy stranded in a foreign country.

In October 2010, Mandy arrives at Steph's house. Darren asks Mandy why she is back and she reveals she came back to see Steph, but refuses to talk about what happened between her and Tony after they left together. They talk over a bottle of wine and almost kiss, before Tom enters. Days later, Mandy takes Tom to Relish for lunch when he claims to have seen the ghost of Warren, who apparently died the previous year. After taking him home, Mandy and Frankie Osborne (Helen Pearson) argue over custody of Tom. Tony begins to avoid Mandy after seeing her, so she confronts him about why he left her abroad. Mandy meets with Warren, revealing she is in a relationship with him and they both agree to take revenge on Tony.

Mandy discovers Tony is in debt and Dom had gone to Warren for money. Later that night, Tony's restaurant Il Gnosh is burned down by an unseen arsonist. The fire spreads and Steph is killed, with Malachy Fisher (Glen Wallace) later dying in hospital. Mandy then meets Warren, believing he caused the fire. Panicking, she attempts to end their relationship, but he manipulates her after convincing her that he is the only person she can talk to and that he will solve all of her problems, making Mandy trapped in his twisted plans.

Mandy tells Tony that she wants to get custody of Tom, when Frankie hears this she is not happy and won't let her take Tom. Mandy then reminds Frankie that she will get custody because she is Tom's legal guardian. After months of him receiving threatening text messages, Mandy is exposed as Warren's stalker. Mandy leaves the village after she tells Tony she originally wanted revenge on him and tells Tom she will be back for him.

Mandy arrives at Cinergy, and Cindy persuades her to let Carmel McQueen (Gemma Merna) wash her hair but Mandy is shocked when Carmel puts eggs in her hair and demands she stops and washes her hair properly. Later on, Noah Baxter (Law Thompson) and Carmel are arguing over who should be the new boss and Cindy tells them that Mandy is the new boss. Upset about the way Cindy is spending money, Mandy teams up with Texas Longford (Bianca Hendrickse-Spendlove) and they decided to make fake art pictures so Cindy will buy them. As Texas is painting, Mandy realizes that she isn't good at painting. Jamil Fadel comes through and helps Texas to paint. While doing that, Mandy and Jamil realize he is good and Mandy persuades him to paint more pictures. Cindy discovers that Mandy has been scamming her but later forgives her.

Mandy and Tony reignite their relationship. Tony and Mandy begin looking for jobs and after Tony gets a job as chef at the Dog he comes home to find Mandy has left him a note and has moved away from Hollyoaks.


Dunn has been nominated for several awards for her portrayal of Mandy. At the 2002 British Soap Awards, Dunn was nominated for the 'Best Actress' and 'Sexiest Female' awards.[13] In 2006, she was nominated for the same awards.[14] At the 2007 awards, Dunn was nominated for 'Best Exit'.[15] The BBC included Mandy's storyline featuring abuse at the hand of her father in the article about controversial issue led storylines tackled in soap opera and branded the plot as "harrowing".[16]

Virgin Media profiled some of Hollyoaks' "hottest females" in their opinion, of Mandy they stated: "Hollyoaks veteran Mandy Richardson has been strutting her stuff on the Chester cobbles for years. She's always avoided the chop but that might all change now she's dragged Warren back. You know what they say, if looks could kill…"[17]


  1. ^ Sutton, Caroline (14 January 1996). "TV's 'Leah' tragedy; Drug death shocker for Hollyoaks.". The Mirror.'s+'Leah'+tragedy%3b+Drug+death+shocker+for+Hollyoaks.-a061179194. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Sarah Dunn says goodbye". Women Republic. 2006. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  3. ^ Methven, Nicola and Hudson, Polly, 12 May 2006. "'Oaks baby blues". Daily Mirror. (Trinity Mirror plc). Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  4. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (26 July 2008). "Hollyoaks return was hassle-free for Dunn". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  5. ^ Hilton, Beth (4 July 2008). "Dunn thrilled with Hollyoaks return". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  6. ^ Green, Kris (17 March 2009). "McKee to return to Hollyoaks?". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  7. ^ Dunn, Sarah (2010-10-09). "Sarah Jayne Dunn (sarahjaynedunn)". Twitter. Retrieved 23 September 2010. 
  8. ^ B, Abi (26 October 2010). "Hot Topic: Someone else is returning to Hollyoaks! But who?". E4. (Channel 4). Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  9. ^ Varley, Ciaran (27 October 2010). "Oh Mandy!". E4. (Channel 4). Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  10. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (24 November 2010). "Dunn praises Hollyoaks return". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  11. ^ "Hollyoaks: Who's Who?". (Virgin Media Inc.). 26 January 2007. Retrieved 2010-12-16. 
  12. ^ O'Brien, Liam (8 September 2011). "Sarah Jayne Dunn leaving 'Hollyoaks'". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  13. ^ Welsh, James (16 May 2002). "British Soap Awards 2002: Nominations". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  14. ^ "The British Soap Awards (The British Soap Awards 2006)". ITN Source. ITN. 2006. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  15. ^ Green, Kris (27 May 2007). "The British Soap Awards 2007: The Winners". Digital Spy. (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  16. ^ "The drama and crisis of soaps". BBC News. (BBC). 2 October 2001. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  17. ^ "Mandy Richardson (Sarah Jayne Dunn) - Hollyoaks hall of babes". (Virgin Media Inc.). Retrieved 2010-12-15. 

External links

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