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Remembering Kay Mellor and rediscovering Girlfriends

18 May 2022 17:50

You may have heard that Kay Mellor, the trailblazing British scriptwriter, sadly passed away on 15 May. The team at her production company, Rollem Productions, calls her 'a phenomenal talent and a true luminary'.

Mellor created and scripted Girlfriends, the 2018 ITV drama starring Zoë, Miranda Richardson and Phyllis Logan - and it was undoubtedly a trailblazer too. As BBC News pointed out at the time, Girlfriends stands out because it 'focuses on an under-represented group on British TV - older women'. It even featured on ITV News at Ten for this reason.

Girlfriends showcases the talents of its writer and stars

Girlfriends, which was a hit with audiences in both the UK and US, exemplifies what made Kay Mellor a superb writer: rollicking good storylines and strong female characters. Plus it reaffirms the importance of friendship and sticking together - another hallmark of her work.

Zoe's character, Gail, is caring for her grandson and elderly mother, forever putting everyone else's needs above her own. Magazine features editor Sue (Miranda Richardson) has a glamorous, affluent lifestyle - but she still faces major challenges. They both rally round long-standing friend Linda (Phyllis Logan), a housewife who's in need of their support after the loss of her husband.

Zoë found the drama compelling

Interviewed about Girlfriends when it was first shown, Zoë emphasised that she loved the concept of the series from the outset. 'I read three episodes and thought they were really good [...] It was something different for me as [put-upon Gail is] not the kind of part I'd normally do and I have been a big fan of Kay's work for many years'.

Rediscover Girlfriends on the ITV Hub

Now feels like an appropriate time to rediscover Girlfriends (or watch it for the first time) and marvel at Kay Mellor's writing and the quality of the acting. The full series is available free to UK viewers on the ITV Hub. In fact, Girlfriends is currently featured on the ITV Hub homepage, which invites viewers to 'commemorate [Mellor's] life with her drama series'.

If you'd like to add Girlfriends to your DVD collection, you'll be pleased to hear there are Region 1 and Region 2 versions. Another option is to stream it on Acorn TV on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

However you choose to watch Girlfriends, I'm certain you'll come away with renewed appreciation of the power of friendship - and British drama.

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