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Mr Bates vs The Post Office cast and real-life people behind ITV drama-Rachael O'Connor-Entertainment – Metro

The drama tells a devastating true story.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office cast and real-life people behind ITV drama-Rachael O'Connor-Entertainment – Metro

Mr Bates vs the Post Office tells of the ‘worst miscarriage of justice’ in British history (Picture: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock)

Monday night will see ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office air its first episode.

It tells the true story of a major scandal known as the ‘worst ever miscarriage of justice’ in British history.

More than 700 Post Office branch managers were given criminal convictions when faulty accounting software Horizon made it look as though cash was missing from their sites.

Dozens of innocent people were sent to jail for theft and fraud and others were driven to bankruptcy and suicide.

Now a star-studded cast including Toby Jones and Julie Hesmondhalgh are portraying the scandal in a new ITV drama, from the first financial discrepancies to the fight for justice.

Alan Bates, played by Toby Jones

Alan Bates was one of the main players in the fight for justice (Picture: ANL/REX/Shutterstock)

He’s portrayed by Doctor Who star Toby Jones (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Alan Bates was a subpostmaster who bought a Post Office with wife Suzanne Sercombe, and was the main whistleblower in the case.

The couple lost the £65,000 they had invested in the business, and over the years collected more people who had been affected by the scandal. Alan and five others took the Post Office to the High Court in a case representing 555 claimants, and in 2019 the Post Office agreed to pay £58 million in compensation.

He is played by Toby Jones, who has previously starred in the likes of Doctor Who, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and The Hunger Games.

Suzanne Sercombe, played by Julie Hesmondhalgh

Alan and wife Suzanne Sercombe were both affected by the Post Office scandal (Picture: ANL/Rex/Shutterstock)

Suzanne is portrayed by soaps star Julie Hesmondhalgh (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Suzanne Sercombe, wife of Alan Bates, bought the Post Office with her husband in the hopes of getting a stable salary while still finding time for their hobbies.

Together, she and Alan fought against the post office by setting up a website for other victims to come forward, and helped set up the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance.

She is played by Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Jo Hamilton, played by Monica Dolan

Monica Dolan plays Jo Hamilton (Picture: Bafta)

Jo Hamilton was another subpostmistress wrongly accused of theft – to the tune of £36,000.

She initially believed she had made a mistake with the finances and was paying it back out of her own pocket, forced to remortgage her house twice.

Her conviction was later quashed.

She is played by Monica Dolan, who has appeared in Black Mirror and Pride.

Saman Kaur, played by Krupa Pattani

Krupa Pattani plays Saman Kaur (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)

Saman Kaur, a subpostmistress also accused of stealing from the Post Office, suffered badly with her mental health as a result, to the point of contemplating suicide.

She is played by Krupa Pattani, known for Citizen Khan and Hollyoaks.

Noel Thomas, played by Ifan Huw Dafydd

Ifan Huw Dafydd plays Noel Thomas (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)

Subpostmaster Noel Thomas was among those affected by the scandal, and even spent time in prison for false accounting.

His conviction was later quashed.

He is played by Ifan Huw Dafydd, known for Gavin & Stacey and Holby City.

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Paula Vennells, played by Lia Williams

Lia Williams plays Paula Vennels (Picture: ITV)

Paula Vennels was the chief executive officer of the Post Office Limited.

She is played by Lia Williams, from The Crown and His Dark Materials.

MP James Arbuthnot, played by Alex Jennings

MP James Arbuthnot is played by Alex Jennings (Picture: ITV)

James Arbuthnot was an MP for North East Hampshire, who assisted in the subpostmasters seeking justice for their wrongful convictions.

He is played by Alex Jennings, from The Crown, This Is Going To Hurt and A Very English Scandal.

Lee Castleton, played by Will Mellor

Will Mellor plays Lee Castleton (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)

Lee Castleton was another subpostmaster wrongly accused of stealing from the Post Office and who joined the fight for justice.

He’s played by Will Mellor, known for Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, and soaps including Hollyoaks and Coronation Street.

Michael Rudkin, played by Shaun Dooley

Shaun Dooley plays Michael Rudkin (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)

Michael Rudkin ran a post office in Leicestershire with his wife, and was one of hundreds of subpostmasters wrongly prosecuted for theft.

He is played by Shaun Dooley, who has appeared on Black Mirror, Misfits, and soaps EastEnders and Coronation Street.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office begins Monday, January 1 at 9pm.

One episode will air each night concluding on Thursday, January 4 at 9pm.

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