Alison Hammond told 'best thing to do' after age-gap romance criticism

Alison Hammond
-Credit: (Image: ITV)

This Morning's Alison Hammond has reportedly been left "shaken" by the criticism she's received over her age-gap relationship.

The 49-year-old TV star was recently seen at a celebrity event with her boyfriend, Russian masseur David Putman, who is 23 years her junior. It's believed that the pair met when Alison booked David for a massage over a year ago, and their professional relationship blossomed into romance towards the end of last year.

Fans were taken aback in April when Alison first shared a glimpse of her life with David on Instagram. However, insiders claim that the criticism - including from David's mother Olga - has soured things for Alison.

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An insider told Heat: "Alison is really shaken by what she feels is a barrage of negativity since she announced her relationship with David. She can't get her head around the snide comments. "It's taken the shine off what should have been such a happy time in her life."

The source also revealed that Alison "can't understand" why dating a younger man is viewed as such a taboo, pointing out that acting legend Joan Collins' relationship with Percy Gibson, who is 31 years her junior, "never got this much grief", reports the Express.

David's mother Olga has reportedly expressed her wish for her son to find a "nice Russian girl," and has voiced concerns about Alison having more "financial power" than her son. Despite this, it's said that David remains "unfazed" by his mother's comments, and Alison's son Aidan, 19, is also reported to support the couple.

The source says Alison's close pals - two of which are also in age-gap relationships - say the best thing is "not to give any f**** what people think" and that "age is only a number".

In the past, Alison's romances with sound technician Ben Kusi and gardener Ben Hawkins didn't work out. However, her friends are hopeful that she and David might make it all the way to the altar this time. Her impressive weight loss of 5 stone was reportedly driven by a desire to fit into her dream wedding dress.

One friend confided in Closer magazine: "Although she's not yet engaged, she sees David as The One. It likely won't be long until they take the next step, so she has her sights on losing a further 3st and wearing the dress of her dreams."