Writer, actor and director Kay Mellor OBE passes away at the age of 71

She was best known as the creator of several hit BBC dramas


Acclaimed writer, director and actor Kay Mellor has passed away at the age of 71, according to a statement from her production company.

A spokesman for Rollem Productions 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."

Mellor was a mainstay of British TV for over 30 years – writing, directing and acting in award-winning programmes like Band of GoldFat Friends and Playing the Field.

Born and raised in a council estate in Leeds, Mellor told The JC in 2017: “We didn’t live in a Jewish area, and there wasn’t much of a Jewish influence. Mum became more and more involved in Judaism when she married Abe. But we would have Passover every year. Mum would explain everything to us, and my abiding memory is of eingemachs!

"I just ate it and thought it was gorgeous. I do feel Jewish though, especially if there is an attack on the Jews in any way.”

In her twenties, Mellor enrolled in Bretton Hall College before embarking on a career in show business which saw her write for hit shows like Coronation Street before penning her own works.

 Her writing debut, A Passionate Woman, catapulted her into a series of high-profile jobs winning her countless awards including two Baftas. She was also credited with launching young actors such as James Corden into the spotlight with shows like Fat Friends.

In 2010, she was recognised for her contributions to drama with an OBE at Buckingham Palace.

As recently as 2021, Mellor was still involved in producing TV, writing a new series of her hit The Syndicate. She told the JC at the time:

BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore said in a statement" "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."

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