Alison Hammond wins over Paul O'Grady fans hosting For The Love Of Dogs

The This Morning presenter has taken over as the host of the ITV animal rescue show following the comedian's death in 2023.

FOR THE LOVE LOVE OF DOGS WITHALISON HAMMONDTuesday 16 April 2024 at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVXPictured: Alison Hammond at Battersea with Rescue Dog Pip Alison Hammond is preparing to dish out the dog treats and set tails wagging as she steps into her latestrole as the new presenter of the award-winning ITV series, For The Love of Dogs.In this brand new six-part series, Alison heads to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to help the animals intheir care look for a new place to live, following the sad passing of much-loved presenter Paul O’Gradylast spring.With more abandoned and stray dogs in need of care than ever, Alison tells the stories of some of thelatest arrivals at Battersea before rolling up her sleeves and helping the expert staff and volunteers totake care of the animals and get them ready for their potential new owners.Please credit photographer: Matt Crossick(C) ITVFor further information please contact Peter GrayMob 07831460662 /  peter.gray@itv.comThis photograph is (C) *** and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned herein.Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged.Any subsequent usage may incur a fee.This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk.This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk.Full Terms and conditions are available on the website
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

What did you miss?

Alison Hammond won over the viewers of For The Love Of Dogs who think she has done a "fantastic job" hosting her first episode of the show.

The This Morning presenter has stepped up to become the new face of the ITV animal rescue show following the death of comedian Paul O'Grady, who died unexpectedly in March 2023 at the age of 67. And fans of the show said they thought O'Grady "would be proud" of her efforts.

Hammond was confirmed earlier this years the host of the popular show, filmed at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London. The announcement sparked debate as many felt dog lover O'Grady – who even ended up adopting the dogs he met on the show himself – was irreplaceable, and the show could not go on without him.

What, how and why?

Alison Hammond hosting For The Love Of Dogs

The show returned to ITV1 for its 12th series, the first with Hammond at the helm. And many viewers shared their praise for her efforts.

Among the comments, one wrote on social medial platform X: "#fortheloveofdogs I think @AlisonHammond is doing a fantastic job Very much enjoying episode one."

Another said: "Awww nobody can replace our Paul o’Grady but seeing @AlisonHammond cares and loves the dogs as much he did is a breath of fresh air #fortheloveofdogs #pogdogs."

Alison Hammond won over the viewers of For The Love Of Dogs
Fans said Alison Hammond did a fantastic job to make Paul O'Grady proud. (ITV)

Another shared: "No one could ever replace Paul but I'm liking Alison. The most important thing is these dogs getting their loving furever homes #fortheloveofdogs."

While another commented: "@AlisonHammond I'm in tears already for that poor furbaby !#fortheloveofdogs @itv . Think Paul would be proud of you x."

Another even said: "Personally I think whatever you think about Alison Hammond hosting #FortheLoveofDogs you have to respect her because no one can host it like Paul O’Grady."

Some viewers spoke out to defend Hammond against the criticism she was getting from other users on social media.

Alison Hammond won over the viewers of For The Love Of Dogs
Alison Hammond bonded with dog Nelly. (ITV)

One said: "I feel like the people tweeting are watching a different show to me - I think Alison Hammond is doing a great job! no, she’s never going to be paul o’grady but she’s not trying to be! He would want the show to continue #fortheloveofdogs."

Another said: "No one will ever be Paul but he would want the show to live on and keep fighting for these animals. Give Alison a chance and be grateful she’s keeping this show going #fortheloveofdogs #battersea."

But some did not feel she was a good fit for the show, with one declaring: "I’m trying here, but there’s just not the same connection with the dogs. We miss you so much Paul #fortheloveofdogs."

Hammond hit back at the "surprising" trolls who have criticised her new hosting gig. She told The Sun: "I was actually surprised with how much I got for doing the show. I could understand in the sense that Paul was so loved and people were saying: ‘How can she do Love Of Dogs when she doesn’t have a dog? How does she love dogs when she doesn’t have a dog?’

"It’s like saying: ‘How can you love children when you haven’t got kids? It’s such a flawed argument for me and all I would say is: ‘If you don’t want to watch it, don’t watch it.’ That’s what I would say to those trolls: ‘Don’t watch it then. If you don’t want to help Battersea, don’t watch it'."

What else happened on For The Love Of Dogs?

Former For The Love Of Dogs host Paul O'Grady
Former For The Love Of Dogs host Paul O'Grady died last year. (ITV)

Other fans of the show were moved to tears by O'Grady's absence. The show opened with a dog looking at a monument at Battersea Dogs Home in memory of ambassador O'Grady. Hammond said in a voiceover: "A very wise man once said, 'All a dog needs is love.' "

One wrote: "Not me already welling up in the opening seconds of #ForTheLoveOfDogs seeing that monument to Paul." Another tweeted: "I’m already emotional watching this without Paul #ForTheLoveOfDogs." And another commented: "#ForTheLoveOfDogs it won't be the same without #PaulOGrady but I'll give it a go."

Meanwhile, some fans of the show could not even bring themselves to watch. One said: "Tried to watch #ForTheLoveOfDogs But had to switch over." And another admitted: "Nah….I can’t watch #fortheloveofdogs."

For The Love Of Dogs with Alison Hammond airs at 8pm, Tuesdays, on ITV, and streams on ITVX.

Read more: For The Love Of Dogs

Watch: Alison Hammond says she wants a house of 25 pooches after Love of Dogs