ITV has commissioned Little Gem to produce the one-off ‘People vs Post Office: The Real Story’.
The hour-long documentary will accompany the four-part drama Little Gem is co-producing with ITV Studios to be broadcast next year. The film has exclusive access to Alan Bates, the man who has campaigned tirelessly for nearly twenty years to expose a scandal that is now described as the most widespread miscarriage of justice in British legal history. Alan’s deal was negotiated by Luke Speed of the Curtis Brown Group.
Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual, for ITV:
“Giving voice to the people who sacrificed so much to campaign for justice and expose a scandal at the heart of one of the UK’s most familiar institutions, this film promises to be an eye-opening, insightful and compelling companion piece to the new ITV drama.”
‘People vs Post Office: The Real Story’ will also feature the sub-postmasters whose lives were wrecked by the scandal and who are featured in the ITV drama.
Over a fourteen-year period, Post Office accused hundreds of sub-postmasters of theft. Some were sent to prison, and over 700 were given criminal convictions. Livelihoods were lost and reputations destroyed. The sub-postmasters suffered financial ruin, severe mental and physical health problems and at least one took their own life.
After identifying a shortfall in his accounts and having had his contract terminated by the Post Office in 2003, Alan Bates refused to accept the accounting errors were his. He suspected the Fujitsu-supplied computer system called Horizon was to blame. He began a campaign, bringing together hundreds of other sub-postmasters who’d been affected.
In an epic David vs Goliath fight against a huge government-owned organisation, Alan took the Post Office to court and won. But his fight for justice and compensation for the victims of the scandal continues to this day.
Executive Producer Natasha Bondy:
“This is a story that’s shocked the nation. As the man who has fought so long and hard for justice but has never courted the limelight, we’re privileged that Alan Bates has allowed us to tell his story.”