Daunting! Alison Hammond initially turned down Ruth and Eamonns This Morning slot

Alison Hammond forgets she's on TV as she chats with guest

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Alison Hammond, 46, has long been a fan favourite, having been apart of the This Morning family for nearly 20 years, while featuring on numerous reality TV shows. But her most recent gig was one that left her quaking in her boots. The presenter, who now co-hosts the Friday slot with Dermot O’Leary, initially turned down the opportunity to take over from previous hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.

It was daunting!

Alison Hammond

Recalling the moment when ITV bosses offered her the highly-sought after role on one of the UK’s biggest daytime shows last year, she revealed she turned it down straight away.

“I was like, ‘No, I’m not doing that. It’s massive!” she said in an interview with The Sun.

“I’d done Fridays before with Rylan [Clark-Neal], but this was committing to every week.

“I kept thinking, ‘What if I don’t want to do that Friday?’”

She went on: “The whole time at This Morning I could say yes or no and I could get out of it.

“But now it’s ‘Fridays are your day’. It was daunting!”

The TV comedy legend also admitted that there was another reason she was a little concerned about hosting the show for the full three hours.

“I struggle to keep my legs closed for that long!” she cackled.

“I’m a bigger woman and it’s hard as I have fat legs, so I like relaxing with my legs open.”

While the replacement of Eamonn and Ruth – who still present the show during the holidays – caused some outrage among viewers, both Alison and Dermot have since become one of daytime TV’s favourite duo.

But the pair had little adjustment time – what with their debut falling at the height of pandemic – meaning they were flung into the deep end.

With numerous restrictions in place, they couldn’t get to know one another in person; no screen tests. No lunch. Nothing.

“We literally did a Zoom and we couldn’t even get that right,” she giggled.

“I was waiting for half an hour and he wasn’t there and he was waiting on a different Zoom!

“Then we spoke on the phone briefly and it was just, ‘OK, I’ll see you on Friday then.’”

But there’s parts of the coronavirus rules that Alison admits she would like to remain on-set, such as social distancing – nothing to do with the virus per say, but rather a personal preference.

While the pair get on like a house on fire after being flung into the deep end presenting one the the UK’s biggest daytime shows, she confessed there’s just one thing that bothers her about her “on-screen husband”.

“He just wants to be glued to me!” she laughed.

“I quite like the two-metre rule because I look better at a distance.

“I normally love the way I look, but I sit next to Dermot and think, ‘B****y hell, I’m massive compared to you.’

“So I want him to stay over there because now we are able to stand closer together, it’s obvious how big I actually am.”

She chuckled: “I could put him in my pocket!”

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