Alison Hammond promises 'lovely' For the Love of Dogs tribute to Paul O'Grady

Alison Hammond spoke to Lorraine Kelly ahead of the return of For the Love of Dogs on ITV
Alison Hammond spoke to Lorraine Kelly ahead of the return of For the Love of Dogs on ITV -Credit:ITV

Alison Hammond has promised a 'lovely' tribute has been planned to Paul O'Grady when she carries on some of his most important work.

Alison was announced as the new face of the ITV programme For the Love of Dogs following the sudden death of Birkenhead-born Paul last year. The programme, which he hosted for 11 years, looks into life at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to help the animals in their care find new forever homes.

Ahead of the new series starting this week, the host of programmes such as This Morning and Great British Bake Off sat down with Lorraine Kelly. She declared herself as the "luckiest girl in the world" to be involved but confessed she had to have a lot of willpower once the cameras stopped rolling.

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Lorraine joked that Paul had it written into his contract that he wasn't allowed to adopt any more of the dogs featured on the show. Alison agreed that it was "so hard" not to fall in love with the furry friends she makes on the show.

She admitted that her chocker schedule just wouldn't be fair to an animal but she would always consider adopting when the time was right. She said: "I've realised from doing the show is you have to be responsible and my life is so busy at the moment and I want to be there for my dog when I have a dog when I'm older.

"I'm going to Battersea without a doubt. Why would you go to a breeder? Go to Battersea, there are so many lovely beautiful dogs."

She said: "I think I've got a natural affinity for dogs, they just absolutely warm to me.

"It's always been like that. I've never had a dog growing up, I always wanted one but I always noticed when I went round to my friend's house they always wanted a piece of the Hammond!"

For now, she said she'd settle for highlighting the work of Battersea and told Lorraine, who shared the news she was about to become a grandmother, that: "It's a little like being a grandmother, I can go and have all the love and then I get to give them back and hopefully they go on to beautiful homes."

At the end of her interview, Alison promised Lorraine: "There's a lovely nod to our Paul, right at the beginning show. You're going to love it."

For the Love of Dogs returns to ITV at 8pm on Tuesday, April 16.. In this episode, Alison bottle-feeds a three-week-old puppy found abandoned in a bin, meets a toy-obsessed terrier in training to be a sniffer dog and falls head over heels for Nelly, a gorgeous spaniel with a rare eye condition.

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