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By Heather Fallon, Maya Marie | 9 January 2024


The impact of the series highlights the importance of continuing to make such dramas, ITV’s Polly Hill says 

Writer of ITV four-parter Mr Bates vs. The Post Office Gwyneth Hughes was preparing for her real- life series to “take some time to find its audience” when it launched in the highly competitive New Year’s Day slot, rivalling the second series launch of BBC1’s The Tourist. 

Instead, Hughes says she was left “flabbergasted” as the ITV Studios and Little Gem co-pro toppled the Jamie Dornan-led drama’s second outing, opening to 3.6m (22.7%) overnight and has more than doubled that figure since, currently sitting at approximately 9m after just a week. 

The four-part series has gone on to generate a national outcry for justice, leading headlines and prompting urgent government action. 


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