Viewers have been left feeling furious, and fundraisers have been launched,  after watching an ITV drama that stars an Accrington actress.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office which started on Monday night (January 1),  tells the story of Alan Bates (Toby Jones) as he and other sub-postmasters and postmistresses fight to clear their name after being wrongly accused of theft, fraud and false accounting due to a defective IT system.

Accrington's Julie Hesmondhalgh, a former Coronation Street actress, plays Suzanne Sercombe who is Alan’s partner.

She said she has been “completely overwhelmed” about the response to the show. She also urged anyone hoping to bring about change, to contact their MPs.

Julie said: “I am completely overwhelmed by the response to Mr Bates vs The Post Office and the outpouring of outrage over the scandal and cover up.

“It’s more than any of us dared hope that it would move the campaign along, but sometimes drama can do that. And now: justice for the thousands affected.

“For those asking ‘what can we do now?’, the wonderful Alan Bates is asking people to write to their MP calling for compensation for the victims.



“If you’ve been angered by the post office story please call for justice for the victims and for full compensation for those whose lives were ruined by the scandal and subsequent cover up.”

The scandal saw more than 700 Post Office branch managers handed criminal convictions after faulty Fujitsu accounting software made it appear as though money was missing.

A public inquiry into the scandal is ongoing

Several fundraisers have also been launched to help victims and their family.

One, launched by Simon Harris, has raised £935 so far. Simon said he was inspired to launch it after watching Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

The money will be donated to the Horizon Scandal Fund, which was set up to help the sub-postmasters affected to rebuild their lives.

Money will be used to pay for legal fees, respite breaks, travel fees and beyond.

Simon said: “I’m pleased to be raising much-needed funds for Horizon Scandal Fund - a charity dedicated to helping the victims of the Post Office  scandal that is getting the publicity it deserves right now due to the ITV series Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

“This charity has been set up to support current and former sub-postmasters, other Post Office employees and anyone else impacted by the Horizon scandal.”

You can watch Mr Bates vs The Post Office on ITVX.