The family of Kay Mellor have thanked fans for their “wonderful words, messages and tributes” to the actress and scriptwriter after laying her to rest at a private funeral.
Anthony, Yvonne and Gaynor Mellor said they were “heartbroken” by their loss but hoped to continue her legacy through her Independent Production Company Rollem.
Leeds-born Mellor wrote hit series including ITV’s Girlfriends, Band Of Gold and The Syndicate – and was also best known for penning hits including Fat Friends, which aired from 2000 until 2005 and was turned into a musical.
She died last month, aged 71.
The intimate funeral service took place on Tuesday and was attended by close family and friends, but no further details were provided.
In a statement shared with the PA news agency, her family said: “We would like to thank everyone for the wonderful words, messages and tributes for Kay who was laid to rest on Tuesday.
“We would also like to say thank you for respecting our privacy at this very sad time.
“We are heartbroken and miss her terribly, but we hope to continue her legacy through Rollem.
“Kay was committed to getting new writers’ voices on screen and the team at Rollem, which Kay put together and nurtured, will continue her work.
The statement added that a memorial event would take place later this year in order for those wishing to celebrate Mellor’s life to pay their respects.
Mellor began her career writing plays, worked on Coronation Street and created the award-winning children’s drama Children’s Ward.
She also wrote BBC One’s women’s football series Playing The Field and in 2010 received an OBE.
Bafta-nominated series Fat Friends focused on the members of a slimming group in Leeds, and starred James Corden, Ruth Jones, Alison Steadman and Mellor’s youngest daughter, Gaynor.
The actress has also starred in Coronation Street, Emmerdale and The Chase on BBC One, a series which she co-wrote with her mother.
Both Corden and Jones were among the famous faces paying tribute to Mellor following news of her death.
Corden said she had “changed his life” after seeing “something in me that no one had before that point.”
Jones said British television has “lost one of its greats” and that she felt “privileged to have worked with her.”
Mellor appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in 2017 and chose The Beautiful South’s Perfect 10, the Fat Friends theme tune, as one of her soundtracks, saying: “Every time I heard that I used to get excited and get butterflies.”
Mellor and her husband Anthony were married in 1968 and had two daughters, actress Gaynor Faye and television producer Yvonne Francas.