Tributes have been pouring in following the announcement that iconic writer Kay Mellor has died, aged 71. The news of her death was shared on Tuesday morning (May 17).
The actress, director and writer of prolific TV shows like The Syndicate, Fat Friends, Band Of Gold and more died on May 15, a spokesperson for her TV production company Rollem Productions said.
A statement to the PA news agency 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 May 15 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.”
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Mellor and her husband Anthony were married in 1968 and have two daughters, actress Gaynor Faye, and television producer Yvonne Francas. Many will recognise Gaynor for roles in Corrie and Emmerdale, as well as Fat Friends and more recently The Syndicate.
Lisa Riley, who played Rebecca Patterson in Fat Friends in series two to four and stars as Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale, described Mellor as “the best boss”. She said on Twitter after the sad news broke: “DEAREST KAY REST IN PEACE……..
“What a massive shock to hear this news, you have been taken far far far to young. You were the best boss to work for, you embraced all that is good about our industry, believing in talent.”
Former Emmerdale actor and I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! winner Danny Miller also paid tribute to Mellor, tweeting that she was: “An incredible talent in the TV world and someone who always had a warming smile on offer with open arms. Sending all of my love to Gaynor and the rest of the beautiful family during this difficult time.”
Shameless, Emmerdale, and Corrie actress Hayley Tamaddon shared on Twitter: “Such sad sad news about the wonderful kay mellor.. She was always so lovely and kind to me.. a truly brilliant lady. My thoughts and love and strength to @MsGfaye and all her family at this difficult time.”
Actress and singer Kym Marsh said: “I am so so sad to hear of the passing of Kay Mellor. I had the pleasure of working with Kay briefly last year and it was an absolute honour. A huge talent, a huge personality a wonderful lady. She will be missed. Our thoughts are with her family and friends x”
Coronation Street star Antony Cotton also wrote: “I’m totally shocked to hear that Kay Mellor has died. I can’t imagine how her family feel. Devastating. She was a real trailblazer for women in this industry. Rest In Power, Kay x”
X Factor winner and former Corrie star Shayne Ward, wrote: “I’m Absolutely Devastated to hear the passing of this incredible woman Kay Mellor. I had the privilege and blessing to have worked for her in #bandofgold My sympathies & condolences go to @MsGfaye and family at this heartbreaking time. You will be truly missed Kay. Love shayne x”
Ruth Jones. who starred in Fat Friend alongside James Corden before the pair went on to create and star in Gavin & Stacey, said: “British television has lost one of its greats” following Mellor’s death. The Welsh actress and comedian said in a statement: “I am completely shocked to hear the news of Kay’s untimely death. Her contribution to British television was outstanding and I feel privileged to have worked with her. Such a down-to-earth, funny, big-hearted person whose brilliance lay in seeing the extraordinary in the day to day.
“She was a great mentor to me when I first started writing – and always hugely encouraging of new writers – a real testament to the idea of paying it forward. Her series Fat Friends was a massive turning point in my career and I will be eternally grateful to her for what she did for me. British television has lost one of its greats. Thank you Kay for all that you gave us. I cannot believe you’ve gone.”