Alison Hammond says she joined Big Brother to fix ‘traumatising debt

This Morning: Alison Hammond ‘disappears’

This Morning presenter Alison Hammond, 48, spoke candidly about her money struggles before she competed on Big Brother in an interview with Jessie and Lennie Ware on their Table Manners podcast. The ITV star confessed she had hoped to win the competition so that its huge cash prize could lighten her financial burden.

Asked why she decided to enter the competition, Alison described how she had been working in Tunisia when she read about the competition in the newspaper.

When her colleagues and friends at the time urged her to audition for the show due to her likeable personality, Alison began to consider it due to her financial situation at the time.

“At the time I had a debt of about £3,000, which at the time I was absolutely traumatised by,” she remembered.

“Because every time I got paid, I just couldn’t make that debt go down, so I thought, ‘That would be a good idea to win £70,000 for going on a TV show.’

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“I’d never seen it before and everyone said, ‘Why don’t you apply?’ So I went off to the internet cafe and I applied for the show, and then I got an audition so I flew back to England.”

Alison then went on to reveal that she had also auditioned for the popular ITV show Blind Date, which ran between 1985 and 2003.

“I really wanted to do Blind Date and I really wanted to do Big Brother – and I got both of them!” Alison said.

“I thought, ‘What should I do? Should I choose love… Or money? And I went for the money,” the presenter concluded with a laugh.

Alison went on to join Big Brother for its third season, which aired in 2002, but she didn’t last long.

She ended up being the third contestant to exit the show, after Sunita Sharma walked out voluntarily and Lynne Moncrieff was voted off.

During the podcast, Alison also confirmed that she was not paid more than a basic living allowance, but that she had her sights set on the large cash prize.

“I was thinking in my head, I want to win the £70,000 – that’s why I went in there,” she said.

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“Everyone was saying I was going to win it, but obviously I only lasted two weeks…” Alison recalled. “I was devastated.”

Kate Lawler won that series and went on to have a career in radio, presenting various shows including Capital FM and Virgin Radio.

However, that wasn’t the end of Alison’s TV career, as the star is now one of the most popular faces of morning television.

Alison first began working for This Morning when she left Big Brother in 2002, and since 2020 she has been promoted to a Friday presenting slot alongside Dermot O’Leary.

The presenter has also made numerous Big Brother appearances since, working on spin-off show Big Brother’s Bit On The Side between 2012 and 2014.

Alison has also made popular appearances on various different reality shows over the years, including I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2010 and Strictly Come Dancing in 2014.

She also has acting credits in BBC Shows Doctors and The Dumping Ground and a recurring role in Palace Hill as part of the ITV children’s sketch show Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It.

The star also rubbed shoulders with Hollywood stars while co-presenting the BAFTAs with Richard E Grant earlier this year.

Alison’s latest big TV project is The Great British Bake Off, which she will be co-hosting alongside Noel Fielding, following Matt Lucas’s departure from the Channel 4 show.

The Table Manners with Jessie and Lennie Ware podcast is available on streaming services now.

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