Monday morning was busy for Jo Hamilton. Six interviews, including two for local radio stations and one for Woman’s Hour. Somehow she even found time to walk the dog.

The explosion in interest in Jo came from her pivotal role, via actress Monica Dolan, in ITV’s true story drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

This four-part series covered the ongoing scandal of how the Post Office’s faulty Horizon computer accounting system, introduced in 1999, led to thousands of sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses being accused, and even convicted, of theft.

Over the last two decades, they have been exonerated – but only after huge harm to their finances, reputations and health, with a handful losing their lives over it.

Thankfully Jo, 66, who ran the South Warnborough post office and café from 2001 to 2014, has come out the other side.

But she’s still outraged by the behaviour of the Post Office, the government and Japanese computer giant Fujitsu.

Jo took on a cleaning job to help her deal with a £36,000 deficit she was alleged to have caused.

She received some compensation at the end of last year, and after paying off her debt and mortgage she bought a new horse.

Jo loves to ride, and credits the activity with helping her through the Horizon crisis.

She said: “I think it kept me sane – that and the anger.

“I’ve got an old horse that I can’t ride anymore. But I got my state pension last year, and I’m still cleaning. I work to keep the new horse – so I can convince my husband it’s a good idea!”

Jo is now in a fair state financially, but wants to keep fighting for those who aren’t.

She said: “I haven’t had masses of money, but enough to put myself back where I would have been.

“But the group who took them to court still haven’t been paid – that’s disgraceful. They’re spending more on lawyers to not pay them than they would have spent just paying them.”

Jo called her former MP James Arbuthnot “amazing” for his work to support the cause of those running the post offices, but hoped the recent television series Mr Bates vs The Post Office would “shake up Westminster” and stir the current crop of MPs into doing the right thing.

She said: “I’m still campaigning for the group because I think it’s disgusting what’s happening. Alan Bates, who has led the campaign from the start, hasn’t had compensation and that’s wrong. I still have to fight for my fellow buddies.”

Echoing comments made by those fighting for compensation over the infected blood scandal, she added: “It’s about getting money to people before they die, as 60 have already died.

“You should be allowed to enjoy the money, so we have to press the MPs.”

Many viewers commenting about the TV series on social media questioned why the Post Office did not investigate the reliability of the computer system rather than doubt its employees after the sudden surge in figures which did not add up.

They felt protecting the reputation of the Post Office and Horizon designer Fujitsu had been considered more important than believing and helping those running the post offices.

Jo said: “The Post Office was a warm, trusted brand, but it isn’t anymore. We’ve trashed it.

“The chief executive sounds so mealy-mouthed. I got my apology, but it was dated two days after I got it! It was a stack of generic stuff and they just put your name on it. It’s shocking. They’re only sorry because they got caught. It’s about their bonuses.

“After the Computer Weekly article in 2009, taxpayers’ money has paid for trying to bury us, as we brought it out. I think the public inquiry will find out if Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells was mean and nasty or whether she was told by the Treasury or the government to bury it, as they would be able to outspend us. That is the million-dollar question.

“But we had the most incredible judge who saw through all their shenanigans, including trying to sack him, and came to a just conclusion. It’s all about access to justice. It could happen to anybody. If you haven’t got enough money to fight, you lose.”

A company called Little Gem made the TV series, and Jo said she was “so grateful” to it and ITV, and the “brilliant” actors. She added: “They said it was a drama but that was the true story. I was a bandit, then a fighter, then a campaigner!”

Jo felt blind faith in new technology over tried and trusted paper-based methods was at the root of the scandal.

She said: “I’m going back so many years to when people thought computers were magic. I ran the post office for 18 months with no trouble. When it went computerised it was chaos.

“We got no training, and when I asked for help I didn’t get it. I always felt I’d pressed the wrong button. And when you’re told you’re the only one having problems with Horizon, you think it must be you.

“Then one day we were all sat around in a village hall, telling the same story, and then I got really angry. I thought ‘How dare you do this to us!’.

“We used to put money in a hat for Alan to afford the train fare to Westminster. He turned down an OBE for services to justice because Vennells got the CBE.

“I’m sure the taxpayer would rather see the victims paid than the lawyers.”

The burden of paying off the deficit forced Jo to give up the shop, but she is grateful for the backing of the people of South Warnborough.

She said: “The shop was the heart of the community, it was a community hub rather than a shop.

“My community loved me so much that people aged from 16 to 88 supported me.”