Kay Mellor, who wrote hit series including Band of Gold and Fat Friends, has died at the age of 71.

In a career spanning over 30 years, she penned numerous hit TV shows.

A spokesperson for her TV production company, Rollem Productions, said: “It is with profound sadness that we announce the untimely passing of Kay Mellor, who has died at the age of 71.

"Kay Mellor was an exceptional writer and a true luminary who left a legacy of brilliant and original work."

Kay Mellor was born in London, England in 1949, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

She began her career in 1968, with a role in the plays "The Archers" and "A Taste of Honey".

Kay Mellor was awarded an OBE in the 2005 New Year Honours List for services to drama.

Kay Mellor's television credits include "Fat Friends", "The Bill", "EastEnders", "Waterloo Road", "Midsomer Murders", "Doctors" and "Casualty".

She was known for her roles in the television series Fat Friends, as well as the British children's drama Children's Ward.

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