Kay Mellor, who is best known for writing hit TV shows Fat Friends, Girlfriends and The Syndicate, has died aged 71.
It has been announced that the award-winning writer, who also penned Band of Gold, passed away suddenly on Sunday, May 15th.
A spokesperson for her TV production company, 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 15th May.
"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."
Kay Mellor also wrote BBC One’s women’s football series Playing The Field and in 2010 received an OBE for her work.
Bafta-nominated series Fat Friends, starring James Corden, aired from 2000 until 2005 and was later turned into a musical, touring the country with the likes of Freddie Flintoff in major roles. The series focused on the members of a slimming group in Leeds, and also starred Ruth Jones, Alison Steadman and Kay's daughter, Gaynor.
Gaynor Faye has also appeared in Coronation Street, played Megan Macey Emmerdale and starred in The Chase on BBC One, a series that she co-wrote with her mother.
Following the news of her death, tributes have come in, with BBC’s chief content officer, Charlotte Moore, paid tribute to Mellor.
In a statement, Moore said: "I’m shocked and deeply saddened to hear that Kay Mellor has suddenly passed away.
"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."
Mellor and her husband Anthony got married in 1968 and as well as daughter Gaynor the pair also have a second daughter, television producer Yvonne Francas.
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Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia.
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