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Alison Hammond to host ITV’s For the Love of Dogs after Paul O’Grady’s death

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By Emma Saunders

Entertainment reporter

ITV presenter Alison Hammond has been named as the new presenter of For the Love of Dogs following the death of previous host Paul O’Grady.

Hammond will follow the animals from Battersea’s Dogs and Cats home as they search for a new place to live.

“I am very aware that I can never replace the iconic Paul in this wonderful series,” Hammond said.

But she added it would be “an absolute privilege to give it my all” by showing off Battersea’s “brilliant work”.

The six-part series will tell the stories of some of the latest rescue animals at Battersea. Broadcast dates have not yet been confirmed.

Satmohan Panesar, commissioning editor for ITV said: “We are thrilled to be able to confirm that the series will return in the spring and that the dogs have a brand new champion in Alison Hammond.

“As Paul O’Grady always said himself, the stars of the show were the dogs themselves, but the impact that he had and the legacy he leaves will never be forgotten by any of us.”

Peter Laurie, Battersea’s chief executive, added: “Alongside our beloved ambassador, the late, great Paul O’Grady, we’ve enjoyed showing how much joy rescue animals can give.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Alison to Battersea and introducing her to the incredible animals in our care as we help them on their journey to finding loving, new homes.”

The show has won numerous awards since it began over 10 years ago, including four National Television Awards.

Hammond’s TV journey

Hammond first found fame on the third series of Big Brother.

That year’s series also featured Jade Goody and Radio 1’s Adele Roberts alongside the eventual winner Kate Lawler.

Hammond was the second person to be evicted, but that did not stop her career taking off outside the house..

She was soon hired as a roving reporter on ITV’s This Morning, becoming a firm favourite for moments like pushing a topless man into a riveralmost getting arrested in Pisa and making Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling crack up during an interview.

Animal lover

O’Grady said he had wanted to do a show like For the Love of Dogs for years before it began in 2012, with him in the driving seat.

A well-known animal champion, the much-loved entertainer was posthumously named Peta’s person of the year in 2023.

The animal rights organisation said the award recognised his “lifelong determination to make the world a kinder place for animals.”

As well as his advocacy for Battersea, he also supported numerous animal rights campaigns including those banning fur.

The Dogs and Cats home in south London recently announced that it would be naming its veterinary hospital after the late presenter.

He lived on a Kent farm with his husband Andrea Portasio and many pets, including dogs, pigs, sheep, chickens, goats and alpacas.

SOURCE: BBC NEWS