Emmerdale star leads tributes to ‘trailblazer’ Kay Mellor as scriptwriter dies aged 71

Michelle Hardwick has lead tributes to famous screenwriter Kay Mellor after her death at the age of 71.

Announcing the heartbreaking news of her death, a spokesperson for her TV production company, Rollem Productions, said in a statement: “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.”

Tributes have since come rolling in for the legendary screenwriter – who penned shows including Fat Friends, Band of Gold and ITV's Girlfriends – with Emmerdale's Michelle Hardwick leading them.

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She wrote on Twitter: "So so very sad to read the news about the incredible Kay Mellor. She produced some of the best dramas of our time. Was so lucky to meet her on many occasions. My thoughts and prayers go out to all her family."

Coronation street star Antony Cotton penned: "I’m totally shocked to hear that Kay Mellor has died. I can’t imagine how her family feel. Devastating. She was a real trailblazer for women in this industry. Rest In Power, Kay x."

Fellow screenwriter Sarah Phelps added: "oh my god, Kay Mellor! what a horrible shock, her poor family and friends!"

Actress and TV presenter Lisa Riley went on to echo similar sentiments writing: "DEAREST KAY REST IN PEACE……..what a massive shock to hear this news, you have been taken far far far to young. You were the best boss to work for, you embraced all that is good about our industry, believing in talent."

Meanwhile, sharing an TV interview she conducted with Kay, BBC News' Luxmy Gopal wrote: "Such sad news about the wonderful Kay Mellor. She was absolutely joyous to interview (she spoke to us on @BBCLookNorth last year along with her dog Lucky!) RIP Kay".

Dozens of Kay's fans have also flocked to social media to pay tribute to the late 71 year old.

"RIP Kay Mellor. A prolific writer who wrote strong female characters and about often relatable situations. One of my heroes," wrote one person.

"Such sad news. Kay Mellor was a true force and an immense talent. My thoughts are with her friends and family," said another.

A third person penned: "Very sad to hear that the terrific Kay Mellor has left us. Incredible writer, brave writer, and a champion for women. Big loss."

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