SOAKING up the sun in Florida with her 18-year-old son, Alison Hammond can’t stop smiling as she zooms around Space Mountain.
But while glam holidays and a jet set lifestyle might now be the norm for the This Morning presenter, it’s a million miles away from her humble beginnings when she was drowning in debt as a cinema usher.
Alison with co-presenter Dermot O’Leary, who she hosts the show alongside each FridayCredit: Instagram/@alisonhammond55
The star picture with the rest of the Bake Off cohort (L-R): Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Paul HollywoodCredit: Channel 4
Since then, Brits have grown to adore her naughty sense of humour, hilarious on-screen mishaps, and infectious chemistry with co-presenters Holly Willougby and Dermot O’Leary.
And now she’d adding another string to her bow by joining The Great British Bake Off as their latest presenter alongside Noel Fielding. So how did she get from cinema digs to the small screen?
IN DEBT AND TAKES A GAMBLE
Alison was born and raised in Birmingham with her two siblings to Jamaican immigrant parents.
The family lived in a council house in Kingstanding, north Birmingham, and the TV presenter has recounted that her mum worked several jobs to support the family.
After leaving school, Alison worked as a travel rep and cinema usherette, admitting in an interview on ITV’s Lorraine that she only applied for Big Brother because of financial woes.
“At the time, I was £4,000 in debt,” she told Lorraine. “I went into an internet cafe to apply online.”
BIG BROTHER BIG TIME
Alison’s application was success, and she burst onto our screens back in 2002 as a participant in the third series of Big Brother.
It was arguably the show’s most iconic series, launching stars such as Radio 1 presenterRoberts, TV personality Kate Lawler, and of course Jade Goody, who sadly passed away from cervical cancer just seven years later.
Amazingly, Brummie icon Alison only managed 15 days in the house before becoming only the third housemate booted from the show.
The then-holiday rep grinning as she prepared to enter the Big Brother HouseCredit: Rex
Pictured with her fellow BB housemateCredit: Rex Features
Her short stint didn’t stop the flamboyant character from making an impression, as her hilarious, often-racy antics earned her a legion of fans.
The then 26-year-old famously nabbed some freshly laid eggs from chickens kept in the house’s garden, and tasked the housemates with recreating as many sex positions as possible in 30 seconds.
But by far her most iconic moment came when she broke a wooden picnic bench in the garden while jumping up and down trying to see security guards patrolling the house’s perimeter.
“I’m really sorry,” a guilty Alison confessed in the diary room. “I could probably bend it back?”
THIS MORNING BREAKTHROUGH
After leaving Big Brother, she was quickly snapped up for a small role in the BBC programme Doctors.
But it was in 2003 that Alison’s big break came, when she joined This Morning as a reporter.
Her stint as a segment presenter resulted in troves of hilarious moments, including a notable interview with Harrisonand Ryan Gosling about ‘Blade Runner: 2049’, in which she revealed she’d never seen the original film, before downing whisky with the A-listers.
Alison posing for Fabulous back in 2018Credit: Alicia Clarke – Fabulous
The presenter with her good friend Stormzy: she appeared in the music video for his single Toxic TraitCredit: Instagram/@alisonhammond55
In 2018, Alison once again had fans in hysterics while presenting the weather on a floating map of the UK that the team had installed on the Thames.
As she tried to jump over to Northern Ireland, she ended up losing her balance and shoving a topless sailor meant to be steading her into the water.
Another gem came when the star was let loose in Pisa, where she was tasked with promoting a £300k competition.
While she was appearing live on the show, an Italian policeman began shooing her away because the team didn’t have a permit.
The presenter looking glam while filming a segment for This MorningCredit: Instagram/@alisonhammond55
“Listen guys, we’re in Pisa, we’re not allowed to be here,” she told viewers. “I’m gonna get arrested. I love you loads! Laters!”
Phil and Holly were left laughing so much they could barely speak, as Alison could be heard pleading with the officer: “I’m so sorry. Buongiorno. Please.”
Alison has always stayed true to her reality TV roots, appearing on dozens of prime-time favourites since shooting to stardom.
She appeared on both ‘Celebrity Masterchef’ and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in 2014, performing on the latter an American Smooth where she ended up in fits on laughter after she accidentally caught her partner, Aljaž Skorjanec’s, face in her sleeve, temporarily blinding him.
Another iconic appearance came on The Great Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off, on which she appeared alongside Joe Sugg, Alex Jones and James Blunt.
Alison during her stint on Bake Off SATC – so good it was ‘boring’, in her own wordsCredit: Channel 4
After bragging that her bake was going “so well it was boring TV”, Alison couldn’t figure out how to shut the oven door.
She also presented a gingerbread house – supposedly astation – that left the judge Paul Hollywood joked looked as if it had been constructed “by a five-year-old”.
The Brummie babe has since gone from strength to strength, getting a permanent role presenting This Morning each Friday, and being announced as Matt Lucas’s replacement on The Great British Bake Off.
Her infectioussaw her become the first black woman to host the BAFTAs and to be shortlisted for Best Presenter at the NTAs.
The presenter in the gallery at the BAFTAs, pictured with A-listers Emma Thompson and Austin ButlerCredit: Instagram/@alisonhammond55
The star looked stunning for the event’s after party, where she let her hair down with the biggest names in show bizCredit: Instagram
She told Fabulous shortly after being nominated: “I felt like I was standing on the shoulders of giants getting that nomination, it was unbelievable. There have been loads of [black] people who are amazing [on TV] – you know, Moira Stuart, Lenny Henry, Trevor McDonald.”
The superstar is thought to have a net worth of between £1m and £4m, and is reportedly rakes in £600k for her This Morning role alone.
She also regularly jets off on lavishwith her 18-year-old son Aiden from her former to Manchester cab driver Noureddine Boufaied.
Last month she posted that they’d visited Disneyland, Florida, and a few weeks later she offered a glimpse of her glamorous £7k a week staycation on Instagram in Bristol.
Even the comment section was typically fabulous: A-list singer Paloma Faith jokingly commented: “Where are you now?!”
Enjoying some much needed time off during a £7k a week Bristol staycationCredit: Instagram/@alisonhammond55
Posing with actor Idris Elbis during an interview for This Morning – one of the many famous faces Alison has set down withCredit: Instagram/@alisonhammond55