Kay Mellor dies aged 71

Kay Mellor has died aged 71 credit:Bang Showbiz
Kay Mellor has died aged 71 credit:Bang Showbiz

Kay Mellor has died aged 71.

The 'Fat Friends' and 'The Syndicate' creator - whose daughter is former 'Emmerdale' star Gaynor Faye - passed away on Sunday (15.05.22), her TV production company, Rollem Productions, have confirmed.

A Rollem Productions spokesman said: "It is with profound sadness that we announce the untimely and sudden passing of our beloved friend, mentor and colleague Kay Mellor on Sunday 15 May 2022.

"We have lost a phenomenal talent and a true luminary. We ask that you please respect the privacy of the family and friends at this time."

As well as Noughties ITV drama 'Fat Friends' - which helped to launch the career of James Corden, and featured 'Gavin and Stacey' stars Ruth Jones and Alison Steadman, as well as Gaynor - Kay was also known for writing ITV drama series 'Band of Gold', and BBC One women's football series 'Playing the Field'.

Kay also worked on 'Coronation Street', and the screenwriter received an OBE in 2010.

BBC's chief content officer, Charlotte Moore, is among those who have paid tribute to 'Children's Ward' creator.

She said: "Kay was an outstanding writer and the creative force behind many of the nation's best-loved television dramas.

"She wrote with such heart, humanity, humour and passion with strong female characters often taking centre stage.

"She will be missed and our thoughts are with her friends and family at this difficult time."

Sunetra Sarker - who appeared in 'Playing the Field' - wrote on Twitter: "Devastated to hear of the passing of one of Britains finest female writers. I admired respected #KayMellor immensely. I remember how comfortable she made me feel when I worked with her, so clever and witty. From the iconic Band of Gold to present day she truly championed women (sic)"

Kay's daughter Gaynor has also starred in 'Corrie' and 'The Syndicate', among other shows.