Kay Mellor, best known for writing series including Fat Friends, The Syndicate and Band of Gold, has died at the age of 71.

A spokesperson for her TV production company Rollem Productions revealed the news on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the company 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 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 Mellor daughter

Kay Mellor is survived by two daughters, ITV Coronation Street star Gaynor Faye and star of Scott & Bailey and The Syndicate Yvonne Francas.

BBC issue statement following death of Kay Mellor

The BBC’s chief content officer, Charlotte Moore, paid tribute to Kay Mellor following her death.

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.”