Kay Mellor's friend breaks down in tears after actress's death
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Ruth Jones has issued a statement following the death of Kay Mellor. Kay was behind the ITV drama, Fat Friends, which helped to launch Ruth’s career in television.
The Gavin and Stacey star said: “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.”
Ruth, who has since written TV shows including Gavin and Stacey and Stella, says Kay was a “great mentor”.
The Welsh actress continued: “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.
“My thoughts are with Anthony, Yvonne and Gaynor and all the family at this unconscionably sad time.”
Fat Friends aired from 2000 to 2005 and was nominated for two BAFTAs, a Royal Television Society Award and a TV Quick Award.
Ruth starred alongside Kay’s daughter, Gaynor Faye, as well as James Corden, Alison Steadman and Lisa Riley.
Kay’s death was confirmed today by her TV production company, Rollem Productions.
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A statement said she had “suddenly” passed away on Sunday aged 71.
It read: “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.”
Kay leaves behind her husband Anthony – who she married in 1967 – as well as her daughters Gaynor Faye and Yvonne Francas.
In the early days of her decades-long career, Kay wrote for Coronation Street and Brookside.
She went on to create the BAFTA winning children’s drama, Children’s Ward, which aired throughout the 1990s.
Her other writing credits include BBC’s The Syndicate, ITV drama Band Of Gold and women’s football series, Playing The Field.
Kay was honoured for her work in 2010 when she was awarded an OBE by Prince Charles.
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