Penguin Books Australia released The Betty Wilson Secretarial Companion on the day before Secretaries Day, 1990. With no marketing campaign implemented, several thousand copies of the book were left unsold. Penguin offered them to Julie McGregor at a reduced rate, but she had no need for such a large number of books all on the same topic, and they were pulped. This book is now an extremely rare and hard-to-find item.
Robert Hughes was an unpopular person amongst his colleagues. He was also the only cast member to have his own dressing room, which the other actors occasionally used. As a child, Sarah Monahan proudly told her close castmates of how she had urinated in Robert's shampoo bottle while he was out of the room, "so he could wash with it". She had also squashed mulberries all over Robert's brand new white car.
When Robert Hughes recorded his final episode, cast and crew had planned a farewell party for him, but were unable to find Robert after the show, as he had left the studio immediately after taping his final scene. A former cast member in attendance at that party, stated it would have been too awkward for Robert to attend, with all the rumours that were going around amongst the cast and crew about his backstage behaviour.
During the show's original run, the young female cast members Simone Buchanan and Sarah Monahan often had problems with obsessive fans following them around, and in Sarah's case, a stalker who would send roses to her school when she was only ten years old.
When Brisbane radio station B105 organised a "Hey Dad..!" reunion in September 2009, nearly all cast members refused to take part, once they found out Robert Hughes was to be involved. To ensure the reunion proceeded with the majority of the cast, Robert was dropped from the reunion, and the part of Martin in the scripted scenes was played by radio host Stav Davidson.
In an interview printed in the 23 November 1993 edition of New Idea magazine, Ben Oxenbould stated that the erratic behaviour of an unnamed key cast member (since revealed to be Robert Hughes) resulted in both Robert and Rachael Beck leaving the series.
On 24 March 2010, "Hey Dad" made the list of Top 10 Twitter Trending Topics Worldwide. This happened immediately after A Current Affair (1971) publicly identified Robert Hughes as the "Hey Dad Predator".
In March 2010, detectives from the Sex Crimes Squad of the New South Wales Police formed Strike Force Ruskin, to investigate allegations of sexual abuse on the set of the show. In 2012, it was reported that over 200 witnesses; including cast & crew and their friends, relatives and acquaintances; had been interviewed as part of the investigation process. In May 2012, detectives applied for, and were granted, an arrest warrant for a 63 year old man. Since then, detectives conducted extensive inquiries internationally to locate the man, including with the London Metropolitan Police. On August 8th, 2012, Robert Hughes was arrested in London, England, and charged with eleven offences against five girls between 1985 and 1990. Robert has always publicly denied the charges. The case, which went to trial in early 2014, resulted in Robert Hughes being found guilty of ten of the charges. Hughes was sentenced to a prison term of a maximum of ten years nine months, or a minimum term of six years, after which he could apply for parole.
Ben Oxenbould mentioned in an interview that, in 1993, he was so miserable working on the show, that he tried various tactics in an attempt to get fired. These included: Ben shaving his head without prior permission from the producers, causing the writers grief at having to do last-minute script rewrites; and Ben dropping his pants and mooning the studio audience. These tactics backfired for Ben. Not only was he told his contract was binding, keeping him on board until July 1994 (when the series would conclude for good), but Ben also received a $44-a-week pay raise.
According to Sarah Monahan, even though two "Best of Hey Dad..!" volumes were released on DVD in Australia, and four seasons released on DVD in Germany, not a single cent of royalties has ever been paid to the cast.
The series was never awarded a TV Week Logie, despite being nominated several times in the Light Entertainment/Comedy category. The 2011 Logie Awards would mark the first time "Hey Dad..!" appeared in another category, as A Current Affair's coverage of the "Hey Dad Scandal" was nominated for Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report.
When asked on A Current Affair in March 2010 about the alleged abuse Sarah Monahan suffered on set, Julie McGregor claimed not to have any knowledge of who the perpetrator was. In a Womans' Day article in April 2014, Julie admitted to being approached during rehearsals by co-star Simone Buchanan, who informed Julie of Robert Hughes's inappropriate behaviour behind the scenes. In response, Sarah Monahan wrote a blog post on her website regarding this situation, titled "Real Friends vs Faux Friends".
The exterior shots of the Kelly house in later episodes were recorded with the aid of a miniature model, which stood about 2 ft high and sat on a 10 ft x 8 ft podium. It was created by British special effects artist Michael Worrall, and was his first commission in Australia. After the series ended, producers were unable to find any museums interested in keeping the model. It was then kept in the possession of the producers, until the model eventually disintegrated and was destroyed.
"Hey Dad..!" shared a studio with Australian drama series Home and Away (1988). At midnight early Saturday, the Home and Away set would be dismantled, the crew working all night to install the Hey Dad..! set. Following the Hey Dad..! tapings late Saturday, the Hey Dad..! set would be taken down, and the Home and Away set re-installed. This was a regular occurrence for the duration of the series.
Writers considered scripting a full cast reunion for the series finale, but this idea was shelved after some former cast members refused to appear if Robert Hughes was in attendance. Besides Robert, Christopher Mayer, Rachael Beck and Paul Smith were the only former cast members not present for the final curtain call.
Prior to the pilot being recorded, a different actor had initially been chosen to play Nudge. After it was decided that he was not right for the part, producers re-auditioned to fill the role, giving it to Christopher Truswell.
After leaving the series to live in Honduras as part of a one year student exchange program, Sarah Monahan returned home to discover the majority of her earnings from the show had been emptied from her bank account.
Former casting director Liz Mullinar revealed in a 2014 interview that Robert Hughes had been pushed to leave the series after his behaviour culminated in a number of stand-up rows with the show's executive producer Gary Reilly. Mullinar had been brought in to find a replacement. "The cast didn't want him to continue on the program. Channel Seven behaved fantastically as did Gary Reilly and in the end Hughes resigned," Mullinar said.
Ben Oxenbould and Simone Buchanan have stated they had lost out on acting work, due to their choice of speaking out in defense of Sarah Monahan, against the alleged abuse she and other girls suffered on set.
The series pilot was recorded in March 1985, but it took a while for the creators to convince any television networks to carry the program. Twelve episodes were produced in mid-1986, before the series was finally picked up by Australia's Seven Network six months later, premiering on 11 February, 1987.
On the set, the only rooms immediately visible to the studio audience were the office, living room and kitchen. Scenes involving the bedrooms, laundry, and garage were filmed in a separate part of the studio, only visible to the studio audience via TV monitors.
During the series' original run, Gary Reilly Productions and the Seven Network received many calls from people wanting to buy the house used for the exterior shots, and asking for the address, not realising that the house was, in reality, only a 2-foot-tall model.
Although "Country Cousin" and "One For the Road" were the first two episodes recorded, they were not broadcast until two and a half months into the first season. To explain the out-of-sequence order of airing, brief new scenes - featuring reminiscing characters - were taped to precede these two episodes, which played out as flashbacks.
When her contract expired at the end of season 4, Simone Buchanan decided to leave the series to pursue other acting opportunities. Since an explanation for her character Debbie's absence had not been established on-screen, Simone was asked to return early in season 5 to tie up storylines for her character. The problem was, Simone had already changed her look by dyeing her hair brunette for another project she was to begin work on. When Hey Dad..! producers asked her to change her hair back to her blonde state, she refused. To explain Debbie's new hair colour on the show, it was written into the script that she had been to the hairdresser's.
Nudge's final appearance is in episode 174. For the remainder of the series, no storyline explanation is ever given as to the whereabouts of Nudge. This is because Christopher Truswell left the series at the end of Season 5, wanting to pursue other interests, such as a music career. Since Nudge was viewed by many as arguably the franchise player of the series, 'Hey Dad..!' producers pleaded with Truswell to sign on for another season, but he declined. They eventually convinced Chris to sign on for season six; the catch being that he could appear in as many or as few of those episodes as he liked. As it turns out, he ended up appearing in none of them. By this time, the writers figured that viewers would have already forgotten about Nudge due to his extended absence, and no mention was ever made of him again in the series. "Out of sight, out of mind", was how one crew member described it.
The "Valhalla" calendar on the fridge refers to a holiday camp located 12 kilometres south of Nowra. Activities on the farm include horse riding, archery & canoeing. This ties in with Jenny's love of horses.
Debbie's friend Tiffany and Helga the Swedish postwoman are often mentioned, but never seen on screen in the series. Another of Gary Reilly's sitcoms, Bullpitt! (1997), would later feature a guest appearance by a character named Helga (played by Kate Fitzpatrick).
Midway through the series, Robert Hughes turned up to work with the tip of a finger missing from his right hand. Robert claimed he lost part of his finger, because a car door had slammed on it, but other cast members had their doubts about the truthfulness of his explanation.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Characters believed to have died in a bomb blast at the conclusion of the series are: Betty, Jenny, Arthur, Ben, Greg and Tracy. Former key characters spared this fate (by way of absence) are: Martin, Simon, Debbie, Nudge and Sam.