Where is Suzanne Sercombe from Mr Bates vs The Post Office now?

Suzanne Sercombe is the partner of Alan Bates the main character of the show, but what happened to Suzanne in real life?

Suzanne Sercombe
(Image credit: ITVX)

Suzanne Sercombe is a pivotal character in the ITV show Mr Bates vs The Post Office, but what happened to Suzanne in real life?

Since watching a new ITV drama fans are desperate to know the real story behind Mr Bates vs The Post Office and where Paula Vennells, Alan Bates and Angela van den Bogerd are now. Others, however, have been touched by the storyline focused on Alan Bates and his partner Suzanne and many want to know where is Suzanne Sercombe now?

What happened to Suzanne Sercombe in the show?

The ITV series accurately depicted that Suzanne and Alan used their life savings to buy a Post Office in Llandudno but in 2003 after a series of errors from the new Horizon system, Alan had his contract as a subpostmaster terminated and the couple lost £65,000 that they had invested into the business out of their own pockets.

In the third episode of Mr Bates vs The Post Office, Alan Bates's partner took a central role as Suzanne Sercombe (played by Julie Hesmondhalgh) found out she had cancer. In an emotional scene on a staircase at their home, Suzanne told Alan, "Tests came back positive. Hardly time to catch a cold, is there? Let alone get cancer." She added, "They'll operate, it'll be fine. I'll live. I want to live. I have to. See some bastards got to prison."

Mr Bate vs The Post Office

(Image credit: ITVX)

The next scene then shows her waking up in a hospital bed with Alan by her side. She joked that she was a 'tough old bird'. Suzanne then told Alan to keep going with the trial and make sure that they kept fighting and he by no means gave up on the attempt to take down the Post Office because of her illness.

It was suggested in the show that Suzanne Sercombe had some type of cancer in her reproductive system as she joked, "Never was any good to me, was it, all that defective equipment? Never did manage to pop any babies out of it."

Mr Bates vs The Post Office

(Image credit: ITVX)

Where is Suzanne Sercombe now?

Suzanne Sercombe is alive and still with her partner Alan who is still working to help those affected by this scandal. It is unknown if Suzanne ever had cancer in real life and whether she and Alan ever even wanted children. 

As the characters are based on a real couple there have probably been some conversations that are fabricated, and unclear if the story is 100% entirely accurate. However, ITV has repeatedly said that this is a 'true story' so perhaps the story is entirely accurate but unverifiable due to the anonymous nature of the subjects.

The real Suzanne Sercombe appeared in the spin-off documentary from ITV Mr Bates vs The Post Office: The Real Story. She was painting with watercolours an image of her partner in his pyjamas working away at his computer. "This is the view I have of him most of the time," she said as she then painted their cat looking at him pondering when he'd take a break.

Mr Bates

Alan Bates and Suzanne Sercombe

(Image credit: ITVX)

The real Suzanne sat down for an afternoon with Julie Hesmondhalgh before the Coronation Street and Broadchurch star began playing her in this shocking drama. Per The Sun, Julie Hesmondhalgh said of Suzanne. "She wouldn't thank me for saying this, but I think there is such a deep and abiding love and respect between those two people, one that is quite rare and precious. Suzanne has, in lots and lots of ways, put her own life on hold and sacrificed huge amounts to this cause. I don't think she had a choice in that really, in that it happened to them. They didn’t cause it," she said.

"But she's stood by him every step of the way, 100% unquestioningly. She's no walkover, not a little wifey at home by any stretch of the imagination. I get the impression that sometimes it's been hard because she's quite a strong personality. She's an incredibly creative person; she has a lot to say about things," said Julie.

"She has a very interesting life herself. And I feel like Alan has been so much the face of this campaign and the leader of it, that she has retreated into the shadows a little bit. Again, not her choice, that's just happened. But she's done that willingly because she absolutely loves and respects him and because she shares a sense of justice and right and wrong," Julie concluded.

What has happened to Suzanne Sercombe since the series was released?

On January 8th Suzanne Sercombe and Alan Bates appeared on This Morning and chatted with Craig Doyle and Josie Gibson. In the interview, the couple were reserved as they spoke about the ITV show that has shined a light on the Horizon scandal that has affected them all of their lives.

However, the show ended on a lighter note as it was revealed that Suzanne and Alan had been gifted a holiday from Richard Branson. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Alan jokingly asked for a holiday as he said, "If Richard Branson is reading this, I’d love a holiday."

Richard responded via This Morning saying, "Dear Alan, I did get a chance to read your moving interview in The Times and we'd love to offer you and Suzanne a well-earned holiday on Necker Island. I can't think of anyone who deserves a break more. Hopefully, see you there. Best, Richard."

The couple were also offered upper-class return flights to Necker Island from Virgin Airlines and additionally a seven-night Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona in the Sea Terrace Cabin from Virgin Voyages. Suzanne and Alan both seemed incredibly touched by this gesture and seemed to have tears in their eyes at the idea of this well-earned break.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.