ITV should rename show Sir Alan Vs The Post Office, writer jokes after honour

The writer of ITV drama Mr Bates Vs The Post Office has joked they might need to change the name of the programme after Sir Alan Bates received a knighthood.

Gwyneth Hughes said Sir Alan deserves a holiday for all the work he has done on behalf of the subpostmasters impacted by the Horizon scandal.

More than 700 subpostmasters were prosecuted by the Post Office and handed criminal convictions between 1999 and 2015 as Fujitsu’s faulty Horizon IT system made it appear as though money was missing at their branches.

Sir Alan was one of more than 550 claimants who brought legal action against the Post Office, known as the group litigation, over the Horizon IT system between 2017 and 2019.

Gwyneth Hughes told Times Radio that Sir Alan’s knighthood was “fantastic”.

She said: “I mean, who could possibly deserve it more than Alan?

“We might have to change the name of the programme, Sir Alan Vs The Post Office, I can picture him in the new trailer on a white charger with a shield.”

Hundreds of subpostmasters are still awaiting compensation despite the Government announcing that those who have had convictions quashed are eligible for £600,000 payouts.

Ms Hughes said Sir Alan was a “very strategic thinker” who will only have accepted the honour if he felt it would do his campaign some good.

She added: “Alan just needs and wants to get his members paid, and then he’ll go on holiday, bye Sir Alan, go away, have fun, you deserve it after all these years.”