Inside The Syndicate star Gaynor Faye’s real life from her past jobs on Emmerdale and Coronation Street to her love of Buddhism

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Since The Syndicate made a welcome return to our screens, we’ve been obsessing over the latest cast list. Among the list of incredible names is telly favourite, Gaynor Faye.

Whether you watched her as Judy Mallett on Coronation Street in the 90s or enjoyed her stint as Emmerdale’s Megan Macey, you’ll no doubt have seen her on your screen at some point. She even took home the Dancing on Ice trophy on the show’s first run in 2006.

Now that Gaynor is back on our screens playing Cheryl in The Syndicate, we thought it’d be fun to take a deep dive into her past jobs and find out more about her love of Buddhism…

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Gaynor, now 49, waved goodbye to the Dales back in 2019 when her character Megan moved away after Frank Clayton’s funeral.

Although the actress went on to star in Band of Gold and land her role in The Syndicate, she recently told OK! that leaving Emmerdale was a tough call.

“It was a really difficult decision,” she admits. “To be able to do a job that you love in your hometown is very rare. But I couldn’t have stayed and done Band Of Gold, so I didn’t have a choice. I really hoped I could have done that and stayed at Emmerdale but it wasn’t possible. And they left the door open for me.”

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When we asked if she’d ruled out returning to the soap she said: “Absolutely not – it’s a great job. I wouldn’t have ruled out going back to Coronation Street but I died! I’m a big believer of if it’s meant to be, it will happen.”

It’s testament to Gaynor’s talent that she can go from playing dolled up Megan who’s always dressed to the nines to playing Cheryl who’s undeniably regular. But what would Gaynor do if she won the lottery?

“I feel like I’ve won the lottery anyway,” she says. “I’m very happy, I’ve got two great kids and a nice life. For me, nothing would change. The only thing is that I’d buy a Buddhist centre.”

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The Dancing on Ice champ tells us that Buddhism is a “huge” part of her life and has been for a long time. “I started chanting in 1994. It’s just part of my life now, it’s like brushing my teeth. In the morning, I do it to set up my life and so I can live in a higher life state. Then, on a night, I chant with gratitude for the incredible day I’ve had. It’s been a lifesaver in this situation.”

She explains that her Buddhism comes from Japan, a place she says she’d love to visit after admitting she’s got “the travel bug.”

Gaynor has two children – Oliver, 19, and Lily, 17 – with her partner Mark Pickering. With her kids growing up, Gaynor has even found time to go back to school and start some online courses.

“I’m studying Spanish for beginners, cymatics/sound therapy, creative wellbeing and a counselling course,” she reveals.

“I went to an opening of a new Childline centre and listening to the stories really hit me. I’m very passionate about wanting to help people, especially with mental health and teenagers. I’ve got two of my own and I know what the world’s like out there for them. It’s fascinating and being on the course is like a free counselling session.”

Gaynor also opened up about her own battle with postnatal depression and explained that counselling helped her through.

“That’s why I became a Buddhist really. So if I can give something back and help, then it might be something. And it’s something I can do as well as being an actor.”

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