She was thrilled when it was announced last year that she would be stepping into the late Paul O’Grady’s shoes as host of For The Love Of Dogs.
But it appears Alison Hammond is struggling to build the relationship her predecessor enjoyed with the ITV show’s four-legged friends – with crew members saying they are afraid of big dogs.
Hammond, 49, has never owned a dog, and while she apparently loves meeting smaller breeds during photo shoots for the show at London’s Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the larger ones are said to scare her.
A source said: “The show is only in the early stages of pre-production and Alison is great, but bigger dogs scare her.”
“She loves to hug the cute little ones, but then you come across a huge one and it’s a different story. But of course, unless you’re used to being around dogs, it’s intimidating.
Alison Hammond with her This Morning co-presenter Dermot O’Leary. A member of the For The Love of Dogs team claimed that Ms Hammond is afraid of the biggest dogs on the show.
Alison Hammond with the staff and dogs at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Ms Hammond has never owned a dog, and although she apparently loves meeting smaller breeds during photo shoots for the show at London’s Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the larger ones are said to scare her.
Paul O’Grady was the host of For the Love of Dogs from 2012 until his death in 2023. Social media was flooded with criticism over the decision to hire Ms Hammond as a replacement for dog lover Mr O’Grady. ‘Grady, due to concerns about his absence. experience with dogs
Insiders of the show say their fears stem from a devastating childhood memory of witnessing a “feral” dog attack a neighbor in Birmingham.
In her 2021 autobiography You Have to Laugh, the This Morning presenter revealed: “I saw it all happen – the dog ripped a huge chunk out of her leg and blood spilled everywhere. I had to help him limp back to his mother, screaming in pain, and for weeks the children on our street wouldn’t stop talking about wild dogs and wounds breaking out.’
Social media was filled with criticism over the decision to hire Hammond as a replacement for dog lover Mr O’Grady, who hosted the show from 2012 until shortly before his death last March.
Concern about her questionable suitability due to her lack of experience with dogs led her to respond on social media last month. Of taking on the role she said: “It’s a huge responsibility.” And that’s what I want to do on the show because I want to know more about dogs and I always wanted a dog. You know it. But I always wanted a dog.
‘But you have to take it very, very seriously, don’t you?’
Hammond, who made her professional career as a contestant on the 2002 series Big Brother, has become one of the most sought-after women on television after spending more than 15 years as an entertainment reporter for This Morning.
After being appointed as a Friday presenter alongside Dermot O’Leary, she was snapped up by Channel 4 to present The Great British Bake Off, a decision said to have angered ITV bosses who were keen to keep her exclusively on their channels.
The next series of For The Love Of Dogs will air later this year.