Kay Mellor, one of the most prominent UK TV dramatists of her time, died unexpectedly at the age of 71. There was no cause of death mentioned.
The driving force behind Leeds-based Rollem Productions was the creator of Band Of Gold, Fat Friends, The Syndicate, and In the Club.
“It is with tremendous regret that we announce the untimely and tragic departure of our dear friend, mentor, and colleague Kay Mellor on Sunday 15 May 2022,” an independent spokesman stated.
“We’ve lost a tremendous talent and a real luminary.” We respectfully request that you respect the privacy of the family and friends at this time.”
Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer, expressed shock and sadness at the news.
“Kay was an exceptional writer and the creative power behind many of the country’s most beloved plays.” She wrote with such heart, empathy, humour, and passion, with strong female characters frequently taking the lead. She will be missed, and our hearts go out to her friends and family at this terrible time.”
Mellor earned Broadcast’s Special Recognition award in 2020 in recognition of her great contribution to the business and a remarkable career capturing modern Britain, frequently through the eyes of working-class women.
She used the chance to encourage broadcasters to have greater trust in budding authors and their innovative ideas. “It’s not only about crime, murder, and police process — they have something essential to say, and I know how tough it is to get through.”
She received an OBE in 2009 and the Bafta Dennis Potter Award for best writing for television in 1997.
Mellor came on Channel 4 News at the end of last month to protest the broadcaster’s possible privatization, stressing that the sale would be a tragedy.
Series four of BBC1’s The Syndicate, which premiered in March 2021, was Rollem’s most recent drama on the broadcast.