Her production company, Rollem Productions, released a statement confirming the news, saying: “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.
Mellor was considered British TV writing royalty, and had hits with the BBC series The Syndicate, which was remade for ABC as Lucky 7 in 2013; and ITV dramas Girlfriends and Band of Gold.
The industry reacted with shock and compassion this morning, with many taking to social media to post tributes.
“I’m shocked and deeply saddened to hear that Kay Mellor has suddenly passed away,” said BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore. “Kay was an outstanding writer and 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 center stage.
“She will be missed and our thoughts are with her friends and family at this difficult time.
Actor, comedian and campaigner Lenny Henry added: “I was saddened to hear that Kay Mellor has died. I was lucky to work with her on The Syndicate and found her to be incredibly creative , funny and instinctive. She knew what she wanted and knew how to get the best from us as actors. She will be missed. Condolences to her family.”