British director Antonia Bird has died at the age of 54.

She passed away on Thursday (24Oct13). No further details have been released.

Announcing her death on, her longtime collaborator and friend Robert Carlyle writes, "Such a sad day today.. RIP Antonia Bird. Farewell my beautiful friend xxx."

Bird started off her career directing British Tv shows such as Casualty and EastEnders. She went on to win a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award for her drama Safe, before moving into films with the release of controversial faith movie Priest in 1994.

Marking the start of her longrunning professional relationship with Carlyle, the pair went on to work together on 1997's Face and 1999 horror movie Ravenous.

She also set up production company Four Way Pictures with The Full Monty star, author Irvine Welsh and film critic Mark Cousins.

Before her death, Bird had been working on new drama Cross My Mind and had directed episodes of gritty Bbc series The Village.