One of the greatest surprises in the history of the soap opera will see Cindy Beale return to EastEnders 25 years after it was thought she had passed away.
Following his short appearance at Dot Cotton’s funeral on the phone to an unknown person—now presumed to be Cindy—Ian (Adam Woodyatt) will return to the programme with his former wife alive.
During her stint on the programme, the Michelle Collins-played character was embroiled in various tense plotlines and even attempted to have her faithful husband assassinated once.
Who exactly is she, and how does the persona go out?
Let’s reflect on the past.
Cindy Beale, who is she?
Cindy is the mother of Steven Beale, Peter and Lucy Beale, twins, and Cindy Williams. She was Ian Beale’s ex-wife.
When the character first appeared, her mother’s market booth in Albert Square was where she was hawking hats.
She initially developed feelings for Simon Wicks (Nick Berry), with whom she found herself in a love triangle together with Donna Ludlow (Matilda Ziegler), before shifting her focus to Ian.
Although she merely started seeing him to make Simon envious, they eventually got engaged. Cindy and Simon subsequently had a sexual encounter, which led to her getting pregnant and giving birth to her son Steven.
When the truth was revealed, Cindy departed Walford with Simon, leaving Ian inconsolable. When Cindy had married Ian, she had led him to think that he was Steven’s biological father.
Later, when Simon had abandoned her, she came back, and Ian consented to raise Steven as his own child. In 1993, the couple had twins Peter and Lucy, but Cindy cheated once again, this time with Ian and Simon’s half-brother David Wicks (Michael French). Ian hired a private investigator to follow them, and their affair was eventually revealed.
Cindy hired a hitman to murder Ian, who was shot in front of her and left battling for his life. Ian had sworn to challenge Cindy for custody of their children, but when her relationship with David began to sour, Cindy took the dramatic measure.
Cindy escaped to Italy with Steven, Peter, and Lucy as the police closed in, leaving Lucy behind. David had promised to attempt to join Cindy later with her daughter, but that never materialised.
Instead, Grant (Ross Kemp) and Phil (Steve McFadden) kidnapped Steven and Peter and brought them home when Ian’s private investigator found her in Italy. In an effort to wrest custody of her children from Ian, Cindy finally followed along with her new lover Nick.
When Ian’s allies got the hitman to confess, she won the legal struggle but was almost immediately imprisoned for attempted murder.
How was Cindy Beale disposed of?
While Cindy was carrying Nick’s kid, she was imprisoned on remand, and once Nick learned that Cindy was guilty, he abandoned her there without the funds to hire an attorney.
Later, it was revealed to Ian that she had passed away while giving birth in jail.
From 1998 to 2015, her daughter Cindy Williams Jr. made intermittent appearances in the programme; Mimi Keene of Sex Education was the latest actress to portray the part.
After leaving for Germany in 2015 with Ricky’s (Sid Owen) son Liam Butcher, Cindy Jr., who became pregnant in 2014 with Beth, was last seen on the programme.
Monday at 7.30 p.m. on BBC One, EastEnders will resume.