Alison Hammond unveiled as host of Great British Bake Off - replacing comedy icon



This Morning favourite Alison Hammond has been lined up as the new host of The Great British Bake Off, replacing departing comic Matt Lucas.

When the Channel 4 series films this summer, she will join comedian Noel Fielding to welcome the 12 new bakers to the tent.

Bosses are expected to announce her as Fielding’s co-presenter within days.

Many fans had called for a female presenter to replace Lucas. One source said: “Alison is a great choice. She will bring warmth and humour to the tent in spades. We’re laughing just thinking about it.”

Alison Hammond is engaged
Alison Hammond will be the new host of the Great British Bake Off

The mum-of-one will be the first non-white host or judge in the show’s 14-year history.

Her selection for the plum role comes after Alison, 48, wowed the show’s fans last year with her stint on the celebrity version for Stand Up 2 Cancer.

Going up against James Blunt, Alex Jones and Joe Sugg, she declared: “I do think that good food and good baking comes from the heart - and I’ve got a lot of heart.”

Exuding confidence right from the start, she told judges Paul Hollywood and Dame Prue Leith: “I love chocolate brownies. Any time I go out and about, try a brownie, it never compares to my brownies. I know that sounds really big headed.”

Alison will join Noel Fielding as co-host and judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith
Alison will join Noel Fielding as co-host and judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith ( Mark Bourdillon)

And the TV star, from Birmingham, insisted: “Oh my god, this is just going so well. Things are just running so smooth for me, this is actually boring TV. I’m literally a natural baker - and a natural eater as well.”

Presenting her brownies for judging, compete with bright pink love-hearts on top, Alison reduced the hosts and judges to tears of laughter when she said: “You know when people have dogs that look like them? Well, this is a traybake that looks like me.”

Prue admitted: “I don’t think we’ve ever met anybody with this much confidence.” And after trying them she declared: “They taste divine.”

It didn’t all go well though - Alison’s challenge to bake her childhood dream of being a police officer fell apart, with Paul telling her: “It’s a bit like a five-year-old has been given a load of biscuits to cut out.”

Alison has just hosted the BAFTAs with Richard E Grant
Alison has just hosted the BAFTAs with Richard E Grant ( Getty Images for BAFTA)

The TV star’s career was launched in 2002, when she became the second housemate to be evicted from the third series of Big Brother.

She was signed up as a roving reporter on This Morning and has remained with the ITV daytime show ever since - now hosting every Friday and regular school holidays alongside Dermot O’Leary.

Over the past 20 years Alison has also appeared as a contestant on several other shows including Celebrity MasterChef in 2006, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here in 2010 and Strictly Come Dancing in 2014.

Last month it emerged that the BBC entertainment show I Can See Your Voice, on which she appears alongside Jimmy Carr and Amanda Holden, has been axed.

But in the same month she co-hosted the Bafta film awards on BBC1 alongside Richard E Grant.

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