Alison Hammond says her dad was 'a fake' who 'pretended to be a good parent'
Alison Hammond says her late father was a criminal who 'pretended to be the perfect dad'.
The This Morning host spoke about her childhood and dad Clifford who died in 2020, on the Wylde Moon podcast hosted by presenter Holly Willoughby this week.
The TV star's late mother Maria discovered Clifford was already married with children when she was pregnant with her.
Hammond, who recalled only seeing her father once a year, said: "Every time I saw him it was like he was the best dad in the world. He was so charismatic and he'd put me on his lap and cuddle me and kiss me. I used to think to myself, 'I don't even know you. I don't know anything about you'.
"He'd carry on as if we knew each other so so well. He was so proud of me when he saw me. It was a little bit fake if I'm honest with you."
She continued: "It was a little bit fake in the sense of he would pretend to be the most perfect dad and literally go for a year, two years. And then he'd come back and I'd see him again and be like, 'Oh there's my dad again'.
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"It was so random and so not the way I saw a dad to be. What I realised was he had lots of different kids everywhere so I suppose he was going to see all of his different kids everywhere and being the same."
The presenter recently revealed in her book You've Got To Laugh that her late father used to be a drug smuggler who used his truck business of importing trucks to facilitate his trafficking between the UK and the Caribbean.
She said: “One day, he came straight to our house from the airport. ‘See these boots?’ he said, grinning down at his feet. ‘These are the most expensive pair of snakeskin boots in the world’.
“‘Why are they so expensive?’ my mum asked. He bent down, unzipped a boot and a load of ganja fell out.
“That was my dad! Cliff was charismatic and charming, but he was naughty. He’d illegally bring drugs into the country in the days when people could get away with it, before they introduced sniffer dogs and body scans at the airport.
"I’m embarrassed to admit it, because I’ve never been remotely interested in drugs, but I remember him coming to our house and giving my mum a roll of money... So shady.”
Hammond also spoke about her father's links to the late Muhammad Ali when she was younger.
She told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield back in 2016 that Clifford was the boxing legend's security guard when he was in the UK.
She shared an image of herself as a girl in Ali's arms following a boxing match, recalling how he had picked her up after his win.
"He grabbed me - he was besotted with me," she said. "He thought I looked like his daughter - although we don't look alike any more. He latched onto me and literally wouldn't let go.
"Not many people can say an icon such as he was besotted by them - but I can!"
She also said on Willoughby's podcast that her father was so enthralled with the boxer that he named her and her three siblings after him.
Watch: Alison Hammond's hilarious cooking segment