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Mr Bates vs The Post Office viewers saying same about 'blood-boiling' drama as Post Office issues response

Post Office Chief Executive Nick Read responded via social media


Monica Dolan as Jo in Mr Bates vs The Post Office

© ITV STUDIOS
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
January 3, 2024
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ITV's new drama, Mr Bates vs The Post Office, has had viewers glued to the screen over the last few days, detailing the astonishing true story of the Post Office scandal. 

The four-part series, which debuted on New Year's Day, focuses on Alan Bates (Toby Jones), a subpostmaster from Wales who, along with hundreds of other people, was wrongly accused of fraud by the Post Office. The drama tells the real-life stories of the sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses who were falsely accused of theft and false accounting thanks to a faulty IT system. 

WATCH: Are you watching Mr Bates vs The Post Office

Taking to social media, viewers expressed their shock over the scandal, which remains Britain's most widespread miscarriage of justice.

One person penned: "Just watched #MrBatesVsThePostOffice on ITV… a must view. Such an atrocious miscarriage of justice. Makes the blood boil with so many innocent lives ruined but also an inspiring message about the human spirit ... hopefully justice will be done," while another added: "Watching #MrBatesVsThePostOffice and it's upsetting, shocking and devastating. Very well presented for screen, however. Those poor people."

Toby Jones as Alan Bates in Mr Bates vs The Post Office© ITV STUDIOS
Toby Jones stars as Alan Bates in Mr Bates vs The Post Office

A third person wrote: "#MrBatesVsThePostOffice is so sad. How on earth did they get away with this for so long? Shocking treatment of decent people."

Many also applauded ITV for its dramatisation of the story, hailing the series as "hugely important" and "powerful" viewing. 

Others also called for the cast, which includes Toby Jones, Monica Dolan and Julie Hesmondhalgh, to win awards for their performances. "Mr Bates vs The Post Office - WOW! ITV delivered an exceptional drama. I cried...CRIED! Superb acting. Toby Jones, spectacular as usual, but  Monica Doolan, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Will Mellor are first class. BAFTAs all round!" wrote one person. 

Monica Dolan as Jo in Mr Bates vs The Post Office© ITV STUDIOS
Fans praised the "shocking" drama

A second added: "#MrBatesVsThePostOffice The cast in this true story are incredible. They are playing the parts perfectly."

It's not just the viewers who have expressed their approval of the drama, however. The real Alan Bates has also praised the actors for their portrayals. "I think the actors have done a wonderful job in it," Alan said while appearing on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday. "They've really portrayed a lot of the suffering that people have gone through so well."

Alan Bates on Good Morning Britain© ITV
The real Alan Bates praised the show on Good Morning Britain

The latest episode, which aired on Tuesday night, comes after the Post Office Chief Executive, Nick Read, shared a message via social media. 

"We sincerely apologise to victims for the devastating impact of the Post Office Horizon IT scandal on the lives of so many," he said in a statement. "We are all doing all we can to provide redress and urge anyone affected who has not yet come forward to do so."

Will Mellor as Lee and Amy Nuttall as Lisa in Mr Bates vs The Post Office© ITV STUDIOS
Will Mellor as Lee and Amy Nuttall as Lisa

In December, ahead of the programme's release, The Post Office shared an update on the current status of the scandal. "A statutory Inquiry, chaired by Sir Wyn Williams, is examining every aspect of the scandal," said the statement. "Post Office shares fully the aims of the Inquiry to establish what went wrong and why, so that such events can never happen again."

It added that Nick Read "welcomes the drama and encourages those who have been affected to seek redress if they have not already done so".

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