Arrest Made In Blackmail Scheme Targeting New Great British Bake Off Host

 Alison Hammond on The Great British Baking Show Stand Up To Cancer Special
Alison Hammond on The Great British Baking Show Stand Up To Cancer Special

Popular British TV presenter Alison Hammond has been riding high publicly after she was recently named the new co-host of The Great British Bake Off, but outside the public eye, she was reportedly dealing with a blackmailing scheme. Now someone has reportedly been arrested for the crime, and details are starting to go public in the British press for the first time.

The alleged blackmailer has not been publicly identified, but according to The Mirror, he’s thirty-six and was reportedly friends with the forty-eight-year-old Hammond. Over the last year, the outlet claims the popular TV presenter bought the man a car and other gifts, but at some point, he allegedly started threatening to ruin her career if she didn’t spend more money. The Sun claims the alleged blackmailer has issues with drugs and she once tried to pay for his rehab, only to be taken advantage of. She allegedly shelled out thousands of pounds over the course of nearly a year before a recent message demanding another thirty-five hundred pounds allegedly pushed her to go to the police.

Authorities from the West Midlands Police aren’t saying much on the record, but they did release a short and to the point statement…

A 36-year-old man has been arrested from an address in Warwickshire this evening on suspicion of blackmail against a woman in her 40s. He remains in custody for questioning.

Alison Hammond’s career has steadily taken off since she first appeared on the UK version of Big Brother all the way back in 2002. Her brief but extremely popular run led to a gig on ITV’s This Morning where she quickly emerged as one of the show’s most popular presenters. In the time since, she’s built a dedicated fanbase on the show and has made occasional appearances in other reality shows like Strictly Come Dancing, Celebrity Masterchef, I Can See Your Voice and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.

Earlier this year, her career took another big step forward when she was announced as the new co-host of The Great British Bake Off. The cooking reality competition streams on Netflix in The United States and is incredibly popular around the world, even among celebrities. The opportunity should give her a chance to grow her profile outside England. She’ll replace the departing Matt Lucas and serve alongside Noel Fielding to present for longtime judges Paul Hollywood Prue Leith (who use a more intricate scoring system than viewers often realize).

Barring any surprising developments, the blackmailing case isn’t expected to have any effect on The Great British Bake Off or Hammond’s work on ITV’s This Morning. If the man who was arrested is officially charged, more details will likely start emerging about the case and what happened.