Why Alison Hammond is less ‘tactile’ with celebrities than she used to be

Alison Hammond is more of a hugger now (Picture: S Meddle/ITV/Shutterstock)

Alison Hammond’s interactions with celebrities have secured her plenty of headlines over the years.

She’s interviewed everyone from Britney Spears to One Direction on This Morning, made Harrison Ford crease with laughter, flirted up a storm with Michael Bublé, and even fed Hugh Jackman chocolates on a date.

But the iconic TV presenter has toned it down recently, now openly admitting to being less ‘tactile’ with A-listers than she used to be.

As she joins the Great British Bake Off family as a new host alongside Noel Fielding, Alison, 48, explained why her personality makes her perfect for the role.

‘I started off interviewing people on This Morning and this was going back to basics,’ she told Mail Online.

‘Fundamentally, it’s being interested in somebody else.

The This Morning star joins the Bake Off family this series, alongside Dame Prue Leith, Noel Fielding, and Paul Hollywood (Picture: REX/Channel 4)

‘I do come across as loud and brash, but I also listen to what people have to say.’

And with Paul Hollywood’s Bake Off handshakes becoming the one thing everyone wants in the tent, Alison has also vowed to dish out the Hammond Hugs.

‘I’ve always been quite tactile,’ she added. ‘I’ve scaled it back. I don’t jump on celebrities anymore and kiss them, we’re in a different age. I just like a cuddle.’

Alison has slotted in perfectly with the Bake Off family, with Noel, Paul, and judge Dame Prue Leith welcoming her with open arms.

On her love for Alison, Dame Prue, 83, explained: ‘I adore Matt, Paul and Noel, but it was like dealing with a bunch of primary school children sometimes. You know how a three-year-old loves the word poo? 

‘They crack up. Well, those boys are not much different. Alison’s a breath of fresh air.

Alison’s celebrity interviews have become truly iconic (Picture: ITV)

‘Yes, she’s naughty, but she leads the gang and has a tremendous base of kindness. She naturally likes people.’

‘On top of this is a teasing, spirited, fun woman. A really good combo. She’s life-enhancing, there’s no doubt,’ she added.

The feeling is mutual, too, as Alison described Prue as ‘a gentle guiding force, generous, kind and knowledgeable.’

‘It’s kind of like having my mum there,’ she said sweetly.

Speaking of her mum, Alison has previously said that hosting Bake Off is even more special for her, describing bagging the gig as ‘bittersweet’.

‘It was so exciting, I knew the news about three weeks before announcing it,’ she said.

‘The story was leaked but it was fine because we were ready to go with it anyway. I was over the moon, I’ve been sitting on it for three weeks.’

Alison has already slotted in perfectly (Picture: Instagram)

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The day it was leaked was actually her late mum’s birthday, Alison revealed.

She continued to The Sun: ‘I was kind of feeling like was it my mum who leaked this story. I’ll do this on my birthday.’

Alison’s beloved mum died from liver and lung cancer in 2020.

Bake Off fans got their first look at Alison in the tent when the trailer for the new series dropped.

Taking over from Matt Lucas, the Birmingham star has been met with nothing but praise from viewers who are buzzing for her to get stuck in.

The Great British Bake Off returns to Channel 4 this month.

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