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Tuesday 05 July 2016

Interview: In The Club Creator Kay Mellor Talks Spielberg Motherhood & Writing

In The Club creator Kay Mellor talks about the joys of motherhood, famous fans and why she has absolutely no regrets.

When Kay Mellor became pregnant she was terrified and thought her life was over. It was 1967 and at 15 she felt wildly under prepared for parenthood, as did her boyfriend Anthony who was 17 and an apprentice motor mechanic. 

So the couple decided to keep it a secret until at five months her growing bump became impossible to hide. 

Now, almost fifty years later, Mellor,65, is one of the greatest writers in British television and credits motherhood with shaping her incredible career, she is also still happily married to Anthony and the pair have two daughters, TV producer Yvonne Francas and actress Gaynor Faye. 


"At the time it seemed like an absolute disaster; five months pregnant and getting married at 16. But in the end it was one of the best things that could have ever happened." she explains.

"Because I was a young mum I was able to study when the girls were at school, and that eventually led me to where I am today."

After studying drama at university she went on to form her own theatre company, but it soon became clear that Mellor's real talent lay in writing and over the last three decades she has become famous for her specific brand of drama; honest, heartfelt and intrinsically Northern. 

From her first major series Band of Gold to her most recent BBC drama, In The Club , Mellor rarely strays from her beloved Yorkshire, saying: 

"Leeds is my home and when it comes to my characters I simply write them where I see them. But I think that intrinsic 'Yorkshireness' that people talk about is in the warmth and humour." 


To further her point, Mellor recalls the time Steven Spielberg called her up to say how much he enjoyed her hit lottery drama The Syndicate : 

"He said he thought it had 'a real sense of community and place,' and thinking about it, that must be because I draw inspiration from the people and world around me."

Given her reputation for writing from experience, it seems surprising it has taken Mellor so long to pen In The Club , which encompasses every aspect of parenthood, both good and bad. 

The BBC drama, now in its second series, follows six women who bond in their antenatal class and go on to remain close after the birth of their children.

It is a fearless and refreshing look at the many joys and pitfalls of life as a new parent and Mellor says that it was a perfect opportunity to 'exorcise her demons.'

"I had the idea quite a while ago but wrote Fat Friends instead, and I thought to myself "tit's a shame I never wrote that." 

"Because there's a lot to said about birth and life itself. It"s the ultimate creation isn't it? 

"Life. you can't create anything more than that AND it is life changing. Life will never be the same for again after you've had a child."
 
In The Club is available on DVD alongside In The Club Series One and Two Box Set.

by: Mike Cobley




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Photo: Sam Marks and Laura Pitt-Pulford

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