Dad (TV series)

Dad is a BBC1 sitcom that ran for 13 episodes (each 30 minutes long) over two series and a Christmas special. Described by the BBC as a 'generation-gap comedy', it centered on the trials and tribulations of Alan Hook (Kevin McNally) and his father Brian (George Cole). Alan would often find himself getting increasingly frustrated with the endeavours of his father, whilst the world seemed to be forever against him.

Written byAndrew Marshall
Directed byAngela De Chastelai Smith
Marcus Mortimer
Nick Wood
StarringGeorge Cole
Kevin McNally
Julia Hills
Toby Ross-Bryant
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes13
Producer(s)Marcus Mortimer
Rosemary McGowan
Running time30 minutes
Original networkBBC1
Picture format4:3
Original release25 September 1997 (1997-09-25) 
21 December 1999 (1999-12-21)

Toby Ross-Bryant played Alan's son Vincent, and Julia Hills played Alan's wife Beryl. It was written by Andrew Marshall, who was best known for his popular sitcom 2point4 Children. The title of each episode was a pun on the word 'Dad'.

The theme tune for the first series was the 1965 hit 'Tijuana Taxi' performed by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. For the second series this was replaced with the song 'Go Daddy-O' by Californian swing revival band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.


Initially, due to Julia Hills being in 2point4 Children, which was still running come the transmission of 'Dad', the BBC didn't want her to be in it. However after her audition, any fears and doubts were quickly quashed.

Alan Hook - Kevin McNally

Brian Hook - George Cole

Vincent Hook - Toby Ross-Bryant

Beryl Hook - Julia Hills


Alan Hook is a highly-strung and often unfortunate individual, constantly getting frustrated with the endeavours of his father Brian, and forever venting his anger at the world around him. His long-suffering wife Beryl tries her best to keep her husband calm, though this proves difficult due to Brian, who, without meaning to, is always getting on his son's nerves with his over engineered ideas, and old fashioned ways.

Then there is Alan's own son Vincent, a typical moody teenager who Alan seems to be forever embarrassing.


See List of 'Dad' Episodes for further details.

13 episodes were made; two series of six episodes, and a final Christmas special. All were written by Andrew Marshall and directed by Nick Wood, with the exception of the final episode that was directed by Angela De Chastelai Smith. Wood also directed episodes for Marshall's other sitcom 2point4 Children.


The show received less critical acclaim than the similar BBC family sitcom 2point4 Children, also written by Andrew Marshall.


During the second series, writer Andrew Marshall was convinced the show would go to a third series. Kevin McNally also believed they'd be doing the show for quite a while. However after 13 episodes, and despite going from strength to strength, 'Dad' ended with a 1999 Christmas special. McNally commented that the show got 'somehow lost', and its cancellation was to do with a regime change at the BBC. George Cole believed the shows cancellation was down to focus groups that began to decide what TV shows should be axed.

DVD release

Both series one and two are available on DVD in Australia; they were released by 'Madman'. Both DVDs come with special features, one of which is an audio commentary from George Cole and Kevin McNally who discuss the show; it hasn't been released in the United States or UK, and it also isn't repeated on TV in these two countries.


The estate agent named on the 'for sale' signs in the first episode of series 2 are called 'Renwick'; a nod to Andrew Marshall's ex-writing partner, David Renwick.

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