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ITV have commissioned a new documentary as a follow-up to drama Mr Bates Vs The Post Office which aired earlier this month and got the whole country talking.

Mr Bates vs. the Post Office is ITV’s biggest new drama in over a decade, even beating the launch of Downton Abbey in 2010, with over 13m now watching the first episode.

It is the biggest new drama across all channels since Bodyguard on BBC One in 2018. And it is ITV's biggest drama since Broadchurch in 2017. The four episodes are the most watched programmes on any channel so far this year. 

The documentary, titled Mr Bates Vs The Post Office: The Impact, will feature Jo Hamilton, Jess Uppal, Noel Thomas and Alan Bates, plus the subpostmasters who have come forward since the series aired.  

ITV's Jo Clinton-Davis said: "The Post Office scandal became a genuine national talking point at the start of this year, striking at the heart of the public’s sense of justice.  The reverberations have been felt ever since at a political level, but particularly in the lives of those directly affected.  This film promises to tell the story of what has happened since in their lives, how their fight continues as well as illuminating new layers of this scandal."

Executive Producer Natasha Bondy said: "The public’s response to Mr Bates was extraordinary and had a hugely positive impact on subpostmasters. We’re delighted we can explore how far-reaching that impact has been, while still showing that the fight for financial redress is far from over."

In the drama, Toby Jones plays Alan Bates while Monica Dolan, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Alex Jennings, Ian Hart, Lia Williams, Will Mellor, Clare Calbraith, Shaun Dooley, Amit Shah, Lesley Nicol, Adam James and Katherine Kelly are also in the cast.

Between 2000 and 2013, the Post Office held thousands of its own sub postmasters and postmistresses liable for financial discrepancies thrown up by Horizon, its hugely expensive but unreliable computerised accounting system.

Despite warnings that the system was flawed, the Post Office relentlessly pursued the sub postmasters and postmistresses, telling many of them that they were the only ones having problems with Horizon.

Of those affected by the faulty IT system, 736 were prosecuted and hundreds more lost livelihoods, homes and life savings because they paid back money that the Post Office claimed was missing.

Mr Bates Vs The Post Office is available to stream on ITVX now.


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