Fat Friends writer Kay Mellor, who has sadly passed away at the age of 71, was incredibly close with the actress’ daughter, Gaynor Faye, and they worked together frequently
Kay Mellor appears on This Morning in 2015
There aren’t many mothers and daughters who work together — but that was the case with Kay Mellor and Gaynor Faye.
Beginning with BBC drama Playing the Field and the hugely popular ITV series Fat Friends, Gaynor has appeared in a number of TV shows written and created by her talented mother.
The popular writer, who also wrote the hit series Band of Gold, In the Club and The Syndicate, died on Sunday at the age of 71.
A spokeswoman for her television production company Rollem Productions said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the untimely and sudden death 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 respect the privacy of family and friends at this time.”
The daughter of Kay and her husband Anthony Mellor, Gaynor began her acting career on television shows written by her mother, but then vowed never to appear in one again.
Get the news You want it straight to your inbox. Sign up for a Mirror newsletter here .
Gaynor, who played Lauren Harris on Fat Friends, told The Mirror in 2014: “I love everything my mother does. She writes brilliant dialogue and great characters, especially strong women.
“But I was in her stuff and I made a conscious decision that I wasn’t going to do it anymore. I made it as an actress in my own right and I didn’t want anyone to think I just did her stuff.
“Then came Emmerdale and it was fantastic from day one.”
Gaynor, who previously starred as Judy Mallet on Coronation Street between 1995 and 1999, joined the cast of Emmerdale in 2011 as Megan Macey.
Working in her hometown of Leeds meant she was closer to her mother, who she, along with her older sister Yvonne Francas, saw every week.
Gaynor was a teenager when she began editing Kay’s scripts, and she wrote two episodes of Fat Friends.
“It has its moments. You have to go in there with a different head,” Gaynor explained.
“We work well together because we can break through the flowery behavior and be very direct. I know her voice really well and where she comes from
“We’re not easily offended, but I’ll be honest and sometimes that’s met with a sharp look or word, which is fair enough. She understands that I have her best interests in mind.”
When Gaynor left Emmerdale in 2019, she explained the reason for quitting was a promise to her mother.
Kaye wanted her daughter to appear in the stage version of her drama Band of Gold, which first aired on ITV in 1995.
“I was working on Emmerdale at the time and involved in the workshops for Band of Gold and people just loved it…absolutely loved it,” Gaynor said.
“Then I was asked if I would be in it, but I was still in Emmerdale so I had to make a decision on whether or not I was going to leave Emmerdale. That was a big decision.
“She [Kaye] I really wanted to be there. She really liked my version of Rose so she really wanted me to do it. But it was a big decision to make and I didn’t take it lightly.”
Despite claiming she wouldn’t be working on another of her mother’s shows, Gaynor starred in the fourth season of The Syndicate last year.
Gaynor explained why she did the about-face: “So it was one of those things, I suppose, she asked me to play the part and I didn’t want to slip back into that old boring ‘you’. I’m only doing this because your mum wrote it,’ the nepotism thing.
“But I was like, ‘I haven’t been in her world in 13 years and I’m available and I’m an unemployed actress and the character is there.
“She’s a great character and I thought, ‘Am I going to sit there and watch someone else do it? No, I’m going to do it.’
“I did the usual, I auditioned and did my self-tape and the BBC said yes.”
Kay was just 16 years old when she became pregnant with her eldest daughter, Yvonne, who is now a very successful TV producer.
Yvonne, who has worked on films like Death in Paradise, explained that they had a pact not to talk about work that is often broken.
Kay Mellor sadly passed away
During the summer holidays, the “jolly mother” Kay wrote plays for her daughters to the Pergorm, and they required friends to come and see them.
Speak with The Yorkshire Post In 2015, Yvonne said: “Of course, given how successful Kay was, there was pressure to do well.
“Not that it came from her. She just wanted us to be happy, but I don’t think Gaynor and I would be human if we didn’t feel like we had something really difficult to accomplish. She is a master of her craft.”
Yvonne, who landed a job as a runner on the Kaye-written children’s series Just Us, explained that what she admires most about her mother is her “energy.”
“She’s always working on something, but she’s also incredibly generous with her time, and that’s something you don’t necessarily get on TV very often,” she explained.
“If someone makes a mistake in a production, it’s often the case that it’s canceled. Not with mom. She always wants to include them, chat about where things went wrong, and see if she helps them get to the next phase. She’s a big believer in giving people a chance.”