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Alison Hammond is overkill

Alison Hammond on This Morning. Photograph: Ken McKay/ITV/Rex/Shutterstock

For 20 years, Alison Hammond has entertained viewers of ITV’s This Morning with her explosive laughter, lawless celebrity interviews and viral weather forecasts.

It has now been announced the 48-year-old Brummie will bring her salt-of-the-earth charms to the beloved Great British Bake Off tent, a move warmly received on social media and among the light entertainment community.

Hammond’s first foray into performing arts came at the age of 11 when she was enrolled by her mother on the Television Workshop, a prestigious drama club, during which time she landed appearances on shows including Palace Hill, a parody of Grange Hill.

Financial restraints, however, meant she was later unable to take up a place at drama school and she took up jobs at places including British Gas and a cinema, and worked as a holiday rep.

But it was in 2002 Hammond started in earnest on her journey to becoming a household name, when she appeared as a contestant on the reality show Big Brother. Hammond was one of 14 contestants, who also included Jade Goody.

Despite only lasting two weeks on BB before being evicted, she had made an impact. A producer for This Morning contacted her to see if she would be interested in doing a segment on the show called Diet Camp, in which she would attempt to lose weight.

A few months’ work turned into two decades. Her appearances on This Morning have frequently set the internet alight, from her 2017 interview with Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, which has been viewed 16m times on YouTube, to a turn as a weather presenter on a floating map of the UK, in which she accidentally pushed a model into the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool.

Hammond with Richard E Grant during the 2023 Bafta awards in London. Photograph: Stuart Wilson/BAFTA/Getty Images for BAFTA

But she has garnered attention for serious moments, in particular her emotional speech after the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests around the world in 2020.

Speaking to This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, Hammond rang in with a tearful and honest reflection on race relations across the world.

“Firstly, I’m a mother to a 15-year-old black boy,” she said. “So when I saw that image of George Floyd, I saw my brothers, I saw my father, I saw my son. I saw everybody’s son, and I was disgusted to my core. And it hurt me to the pit of my stomach.”

Her appointment to the Bake Off team alongside Noel Fielding, after the departure of the comedian Matt Lucas, comes via a colourful range of TV roles, from I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!, Celebrity Coach Trip and Celebrity MasterChef.

In 2014, she competed in Strictly Come Dancing with Aljaž Škorjanec, but was eliminated halfway through the series.

She has also turned her hand to acting on a number of occasions, featuring in Doctors and The Dumping Ground.

More recently, she helmed the Bafta Studio, an immersive and access-all-areas experience, at the 2023 Baftas as part of the BBC One coverage, which had a mixed reception on social media.

A Little Thought:

I feel that Alison Hammond is overkill in the same way as Rylan.

They seem to appear on anything and everything, I assume they are popular hence the work but in my own humble opinion they are overrated.

Hammond presented the BAFTA Awards with Richard E Clark and where heavily criticised for how awful they did it.

I'm only saying babs !

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