Alison Hammond claps back at For The Love of Dogs criticism after making show debut: ‘Don’t watch it!’

Alison Hammond claps back at For The Love of Dogs criticism after making show debut: ‘Don’t watch it!’

WATCH HERE: Alison Hammond stars in I Can See Your Voice

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer


Published: 17/04/2024

- 09:15

The presenter has faced backlash for taking on the role previously held by the beloved Paul O'Grady

Alison Hammond has responded to criticism received after stepping into the late Paul O’Grady’s shoes to present ITV's For The Love of Dogs.

The 49-year-old has faced backlash for landing the gig, with fans of O’Grady’s series threatening to stop watching the show, which celebrates the UK’s favourite pet and the work Battersea does.


Famous dog-lover O’Grady sadly died last year, leaving a huge gap in the world of entertainment as well as large shoes to fill for Battersea’s next celebrity ambassador.

Hammond was confirmed to be replacing him on the show earlier this year, a decision that was met with an instant backlash from the public.

Many criticised Hammond for not owning a dog of her own when O’Grady famously had many pooches throughout the years, with his passion for the nation's favourite animal clearly visible.

However, after making her screen debut on the show this week, Hammond has hit back at some of the harsh comments she has faced.

Paul O'Grady and Alison Hammond

Hammond faced some backlash for replacing O'Grady

Getty/ITV

She admitted: “I was actually surprised with how much I got for doing the show. I could understand in the sense that Paul was so loved and people were saying: 'How can she do Love Of Dogs when she doesn't have a dog? How does she love dogs when she doesn't have a dog?'

“It's like saying: 'How can you love children when you haven't got kids? It's such a flawed argument for me and all I would say is: 'If you don't want to watch it, don't watch it.'”

Speaking to The Sun, she the presenter continued: “That's what I would say to those trolls: 'Don't watch it then. If you don't want to help Battersea, don't watch it.’”

Determined not to allow the response to stop her form enjoying her new role, she went on: “Trolls will be trolls and I'll still do what I do best, which is TV presenting and you'll see for yourself, I think it's authentic and I loved doing it.

Paul O'Grady

O'Grady was famously passionate about dogs

Getty

“Trolls are trolls, it says more about them than it does me, really. I would never troll anybody, even if I thought it, I wouldn't go online and put it down.”

Hammond’s first show on Tuesday saw a mixed response from viewers, with some still fuming she had taken the helm.

Others were pleased to finally see her in action though, keen to get their fix of heartwarming dog stories.

During the episode, Hammond bottle-fed a three-day-old puppy who was found abandoned in a bin, met a toy-obsessed terrier in training to be a sniffer dog, and fell head over heels for Nelly, a spaniel with a rare eye condition.

Alison Hammond

Hammond has responded to criticism she's received

Getty

One fan complained: “Loved seeing Battersea dogs & all Paul did. Won't be watching #ForTheLoveofDogs & ITV's hire of overexposed Alison Hammond.

“Reading she'll be putting her own stamp on show & zero experience with dogs, has not changed my mind. Just another job.”

However, others were more positive, with someone else writing: “No one will ever be Paul but he would want the show to live on and keep fighting for these animals. Give Alison a chance and be grateful she’s keeping this show going.” (sic)

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