Toby Jones hails Post Office campaigner Alan Bates as a ‘hero’

Toby Jones has labelled Post Office campaigner Alan a 'hero' credit:Bang Showbiz
Toby Jones has labelled Post Office campaigner Alan a 'hero' credit:Bang Showbiz

Toby Jones has labelled Post Office campaigner Alan Bates as a “hero”.

The 57-year-old actor played the sub-postmaster in the ITV drama ‘Mr Bates Vs The Post Office’ - which followed the Post Office scandal that saw hundreds of sub-postmasters wrongly convicted due to the faulty IT system Horizon - and he has now heaped praise onto Alan for fighting for justice for the victims.

At the Hays Festival, he told the crowd: “I get to play a hero. Really, someone who I think of as a hero. Someone in the culture who just doesn't seem to be subject to the same forces that we all are.”

Toby then revealed Alan had been approached to open Glastonbury Festival, but turned it down to continue his campaigning.

He continued: “He can't be bought. He's asked to open Glastonbury: ‘No, thank you’. He's asked to do these things, he doesn't want to do any of that. He says, ‘I've got work to do’, which is to get that stuff done.

“He's a hero and he doesn't want any honours until he's finished the job. And these are values that, I'm not going to say I grew up with, but I sort of remember being lectured about. About duty and about following things through.”

Although the programme went on to become a major success - winning the Jury Prize at the Broadcasting Press Guild’s award ceremony - the show’s writer Gwyneth Hughes admitted she thought the series would disappoint.

During an interview with Sky News, she said: “We’ve all been blown away by it [the reception].

“On the eve of transmission, our boss sent us all a comforting email warning us that it probably wouldn’t do that well, and probably not many would watch it.

“So we woke up [the] next morning and he literally thought he had misheard the ratings, and it just has got bigger and bigger.

“The whole thing is unbelievable, the story of the postmasters, and what happened to them was completely unbelievable from beginning to end and this is just the latest unbelievable chapter in the unfolding, ongoing story.”