Alison Hammond sparks ITV 'boycott' fury as fans divided over new For The Love of Dogs presenting gig

Alison Hammond and Paul O'Grady

For The Love of Dogs backlash: Alison Hammond has been unveiled as Paul O'Grady's successor

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 31/01/2024

- 14:27

The This Morning regular will take over from the late Paul O'Grady

ITV has been met with hoards of disgruntled fans of the popular series For The Love of Dogs after Alison Hammond was confirmed as the new host on Tuesday.

Hammond, 48, will succeed O'Grady as host of the much-loved show following his death at the age of 67 in March 2023.

Dog lover O'Grady was the face of the ITV show for over a decade after it premiered in 2012 with his name included in the series title.

While Hammond has stated she's "very aware that I can never replace the iconic Paul in this wonderful series", it appears some fans aren't keen on giving the new-look series a chance.

After ITV announced the news on Tuesday afternoon, X, formerly Twitter, users rushed to share their thoughts, including one fan who fumed: "NO! Alison Hammond is not right for this show. You need a true dog lover. Someone with a passion for their welfare.

"Someone that understands rescue work, which can be incredibly difficult. Julian Clary or the wonderful Peter Egan would be perfect. ITV have really f***ed up here."

For the Love of Dogs:

For the Love of Dogs: Alison Hammond poses outside Battersea


"Terrible choice, Martin Clunes, Julian Clarey would have been a much better choice," a second added while a third vowed to stop watching altogether: "Sorry, I’m out. Can’t bear the woman."

Another boycott caller weighed in: "That’s me no longer watching. We wanted someone who had the same passion with animals as Paul did."

And a fifth also said they'd be switching off: "Shall not be watching now, loved it with Paul, choice of presenter to replace him was crucial, Julian clary or Claire balding would have been excellent. Alison is being overexposed as she’s on everything." (sic)

However, amid the fury were some who defended Hammond's appointment, including one X account which hit back: "FUN FACT! Alison Hammond has never been the solo host of a TV show before. Ever. She co-hosts Bake Off and part-time co-hosts This Morning. Maybe there’s other celebs you’d prefer, but acting like Alison doesn’t deserve it because she 'hosts everything' - please give it a rest."

And Hammond has been backed by several famous faces after she shared the news on Instagram, including Gemma Atkinson who posted a series of applause emojis on the post.

"Sooooooooo happy! You're a star babe xxx," Angellica Bell commented while This Morning regular Juliet Sear echoed: "Oh Alison this is great news one such a special person could continue this and I know you will be WONDERFUL and what a lovely job with all those sweet dogs (and cats!) at Battersea me and Ruby sometimes visit xxx." (sic)

Hammond understood the size of the task in front of her when she landed the role, saying in a statement at the time of her appointment: "I am very aware that I can never replace the iconic Paul in this wonderful series, but if I can continue to shine a light on the brilliant work done at Battersea and help to tell the stories of these beautiful dogs, then it will be an absolute privilege to give it my all.

"I can’t wait to share the joy of their searches for new loving forever homes and hopefully make lots of furry friends of my own along the way!”

And ITV clearly has full faith in Hammond too, with Commissioning Editor for ITV, Satmohan Panesar, saying: "We are thrilled to be able to confirm that the series will return in the spring and that the dogs have a brand-new champion in Alison Hammond.

"As Paul O'Grady always said himself, the stars of the show were the dogs themselves, but the impact that he had and the legacy he leaves will never be forgotten by any of us.

"We can't wait to welcome back the series with Alison; there will be all the fun and warmth that our viewers have come to expect whilst continuing to showcase the wonderful and important work done by the incredible team at Battersea."

Across six episodes, Hammond will join the team at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home as they look after the animals searching for a new home.

You may like