OPINION: Alison Hammond has national treasure status – but she’s the wrong choice to replace Paul O’Grady on For the Love of Dogs

It's a huge role to take on...

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Alison Hammond has been announced as the new host of For the Love of Dogs, replacing the beloved Paul O’Grady.

ITV shared the news today (January 30) with Alison admitting she’s “very aware that I can never replace the iconic Paul in this wonderful series”.

I adore Alison and think she’s a brilliant presenter, but she’s totally the wrong choice for this TV job imo.

Alison Hammond to host For the Love of Dogs

ITV’s For the Love of Dogs was a staple on the TV schedules. Providing purely wholesome telly, the show bagged a legion of loyal fans – and awards!

It saw national treasure Paul – who died in March 2023 – visit Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. He got to know the adorable pups living at the home.

But what made the show what it was was that Paul was an avid animal lover. He adored animals, having many dogs of his own. You could always see his genuine care for the animals he met. I mean, he even adopted a few throughout the 11 series!

Alison Hammond at the NTAs
Alison has been confirmed as the new host of For the Love of Dogs (Credit Photo Zak Hussein/

The show is truly adored by its fans so it was always going to be a difficult job for ITV to find the perfect replacement for Paul if they wanted to continue the series. As Alison said, Paul was just iconic.

But I think the job could have gone to a celeb who’s more of an avid animal lover – *cough* Tom Hardy *cough*.

Or even Amanda Holden, who’s a Battersea ambassador.

Sue Perkins is also a Battersea ambassador and has been the face of animal campaigns. Some fans of the show have even called for Martin Clunes to have been a better choice. At one point, he was even the bookies’ fave!

But Alison doesn’t come to mind when I think of famous faces who adore animals like Paul did. Does she even have pets?!

Paul O'Grady smiling with his arms folded
Paul died last March (Credit:

For the Love of Dogs reaction

Fans seem to agree with me, as one person wrote on X today: “Noooooo, she hasn’t even got a dog! Claire Balding would have been better!”

Another said: “I like Alison Hammond but putting her as the presenter of #Fortheloveofdogs is totally wrong. She doesn’t even own a dog ffs. I’m sure if you would of asked Tom Hardy he would of done it.”

Read more: For The Love of Dogs fans fume as Alison Hammond is announced as host as they declare Martin Clunes would have been ‘better’ choice

Every job Alison has taken on has been a success from Bake Off to This Morning. So it’s not really a surprise that ITV bosses wanted to sign her up to take over from Paul.

Although I don’t think Alison is the right choice, I’m of course still rooting for her because, well, she’s Alison Hammond and a national treasure! Let’s see what she brings to the show…

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Rebecca Carter
Associate Editor (News)