ITV's Mr Bates vs The Post Office has made waves since its debut earlier this year, and it has become ITV's biggest new drama in over a decade.


The four-part series explored how hundreds of subpostmasters and mistresses were falsely accused of theft, fraud and false accounting due to an IT malfunction.

Following this success of the series, there has been intense scrutiny placed on the public inquiry, and as of January 2024, said inquiry moved into its final phase, with many hoping justice will be served.

Will Mellor, who portrayed Lee Castleton in the series, told at the Radio Times Covers Party that it's important more is done for the victims of the scandal, noting that "talk is cheap".

"All these people wanted to be was heard for so long, and no one wanted to listen, because they were skint little people, as Alan Bates said in the drama," he explained.

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He continued: "And now we've [seen] what we can do in this country, when we come together and go, 'No, this is wrong, get something done, make people accountable for what they did.' And remember the money they took off these people - that's not compensation, that was their money.

"What price do you find people losing their life, going to prison or not be able to remember their childhood because of the treatment they had to have for depression?"

Following the series shining a further light on the scandal, the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, announced that primary legislation will be brought forward to overturn the convictions of all Post Office staff who were wrongly convicted.

Mellor said that the response to the series was "unprecedented", and that neither he nor the rest of the crew imagined the response it would have from the public.

He added: "We all said on set, 'Can you believe they did this to these people?' And we were saying after we were filming [that] it was powerful, and we knew people would talk about it."

Monica Dolan as Jo in Mr Bates vs the Post Office standing and smiling with a sheet of paper, with a crowd clapping in the background
Monica Dolan as Jo in Mr Bates vs the Post Office. ITV ITV Studios

Directed by James Strong, Mr Bates vs The Post Office quickly became the most-watched TV show of 2024 so far.

Further speaking to, Mellor recalled a conversation he had with Strong, in which the director told him, "If we get this right, this could this could be quite good and quite big," but nothing had prepared them for this.

Mellor added: "We, the cast... you have to bring your A-game here. You're with some big players. So it was a privilege for me to be on set with these people. I was just glad to be involved and be a part of it."

Earlier this month, Post Office chief executive Nick Read released a statement to the victims, saying: "We sincerely apologise to victims for the devastating impact of the Post Office Horizon IT scandal on the lives of so many.

"We are doing all we can to provide redress and urge anyone affected who has not yet come forward to do so."

See more photos from the Radio Times Covers Party 2024 in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, on sale Tuesday 6th February.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office is available to watch on ITVX. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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