Kate Saunders dead: Only Fools & Horses actress and award winning author and journalist dies aged 62

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Award-winning novelist and journalist Kate Saunders died at the age of 62 on Friday.

Tributes have poured in for award-winning novelist and journalist Kate Saunders who died at the age of 62 due to cancer. The author, who won the Costa Children’s Book Award in 2014 for her book Five Children on the Western,  had also been battling Multiple Sclerosis and sadly died last Friday (April 21), according to her family.

Shortlisted twice for the Carnegie Medal, she was known for appearances on television, with roles in sitcom Only Fools and Horses and various BBC arts programmes. She also appeared as a guest on the first episode of topical news comedy show Have I Got News For You along with comedian Sandi Toksvig.

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Her sister, Louisa Saunders , who announced the news on Twitter wrote: “My sister, who we lost last Friday. The warmest, bravest, most generous and most brilliant woman I will ever know. Heaven knows how we will live without her.”

Her works, in addition to Five Children, featured The Belfry Witches, The Marrying Game, Storm in the Citadel, and The Prodigal Father, for which she received the Betty Trask Award in 1986. Meanwhile, her novel Five Children was nominated for the Carnegie Medal in 2016, and her novel The Land of Neverendings was nominated in 2019.

She also contributed to various UK publications including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and Cosmopolitan. Only Fools and Horses has also paid tribute to Saunders.

It said in a tweet: “We are sorry to learn of the passing of Kate Saunders, who played police woman Sandra in the episode The Long Legs of the Law in 1982. In addition to her acting career, Kate was an award-winning novelist, journalist and critic. Our thoughts are with her family.”

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A fan commented: “I felt Sandra was the first intelligent woman character in Only Fools, something that John Sullivan really struggled to write before she came along. Kate Saunders did so much with what little screen time she had to bring Sandra to glorious life. She will be sorely missed.”

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