‘You can’t believe it’s true’ - Will Mellor on the frightening real-life story behind his new role

"We need to remember this is real. It was one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British history," says Stockport actor Will Mellor about his new role on ITV.

Will is portraying one of the real-life postmasters caught up in the Horizon Post Office scandal of the 1990s and 2000s in Mr Bates V's the Post Office. 

The drama tells the story of hundreds of innocent sub-postmasters and postmistresses who were wrongly accused of theft, fraud, and false accounting due to a defective IT system.

Many of the wronged workers were prosecuted, some were imprisoned for crimes they never committed, and their lives were irreparably damaged by the scandal.

The cast also includes Toby Jones and Julie Hesmondhalgh. Credit: ITV

Will joins a stellar cast led by BAFTA-winner Toby Jones and former Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh.

He plays Lee Castleton who, in real life , was accused of stealing thousands of pounds  entertainment correspondent Caroline Whitmore chatted to Will ahead of the dramas' release in the new year.

Will said: “Lee Castleton is what you’d class as an everyday guy. He's got his wife and two children and he runs the local Post Office. He’s just an average person, like most of these people were.

"And then he suddenly sees some discrepancies showing up on his system as well assome shortfalls.

"It's a few thousand pounds and so he obviously thinks there's something wrong with thesystem, because his calculations are right.

“It all starts to go wrong from there: the Post Office deny that there's any fault at their end and though Lee says that he hasn’t taken the money they say he’s going to have to pay it back.

"And it just spirals from there. Lee believes all he has to do is tell the truth and it will be fine, his name will be cleared.

"He believes in British justice. Meanwhile this whole thing gets out in to the public domain, and people are spitting at his children, swearing at him in the street, because he’s been ‘stealing from old people,’ in his role as a sub-postmaster.”

Will's Harvey Gaskell character is returning to Coronation Street in January. Credit: ITV

It's going to be a busy 2024 for Will who is heading back to Coronation Street, where he plays imprisoned drug lord Harvey Gaskell.

It's a character Will loved to play. Adding: "My mum loves Corrie.

"She doesn't like my character but she loves the Street."

Mr. Bates v's the post office is on ITV! & ITVX on New Years day and Will can be seen back on Coronation Street in the first week of January.