Alison Hammond allegedly turned down a large pay increase to replace Holly Willoughby on This Morning.
According to reports, ITV executives want the Bake Off star, 48, who presently hosts the morning programme on Fridays with Dermot O’Leary, to expand her duties to four times a week from Monday to Thursday.
Alison is one of several candidates, including Josie Gibson, Emma Willis, Cat Deeley, and even Holly’s own doppelganger, who have been mooted for the role since the Wylde Moon founder’s retirement after 14 years on the couch.
However, the former Big Brother star, who has become one of British TV’s most in-demand presenters due to her entertaining on-screen antics, like unintentionally pushing a guy into a dock, has reportedly refused a mega-deal more than once.
A source said: ‘Alison has long been a favourite with bosses. She’s very popular with viewers and celebrities often request her when they appear on the sofa.
They continued to the Mirror: ‘She’s happy to fill in but has politely declined the job more than once.’
Alison isn’t the only ITV babe who has ruled herself out of the role after Loose Women’s Ruth Langsford chimed in on rumours that she would return to This Morning.
‘I think that ship has sailed,’ she told Hello!. ‘Listen, never say never. I adore that show and it was a dream to work on it.’
Meanwhile, Mollie King, whose resemblance to Holly even confounded fans, has apparently been turned down by ITV due to a lack of live broadcasting experience.
‘It seemed like a really good idea to get Mollie on, she is literally a dead ringer for Holly and she has a big fan base,’ a source claimed.
They added to the Daily Mail that although viewers warmed to her: ‘She just doesn’t have the hours of live broadcasting time that is needed to host a show like This Morning.
‘It would have been a great gimmick for the programme, she literally is Holly’s doppelganger but it was a case of thanks, but no thanks,’ they concluded.
It was also claimed that ITV executives were considering Cat Deeley for the role, but she ultimately chose to host So You Think You Can Dance in America.
‘Cat was the answer. She would have been an absolute triumph but they just couldn’t make it work,’ a source told the Mail.
Holly was not the first departure from This Morning in 2023; Phillip Schofield, 61, announced his departure from the daytime show after more than 20 years.
He resigned from ITV in full after admitting on This Morning to a ‘unwise but not illegal ‘ romance with a younger staffer.
Craig Doyle has been filling in frequently and is a frontrunner to take over the role.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.
Source My Celebrity Life.