Alison Hammond certain late mum helped her get Bake Off job after weird audition
Alison Hammond is convinced her late mum helped her land her dream job as the new host of Bake Off.
The presenter, 48, is replacing Matt Lucas, 49, on the hit Channel 4 series.
And landing the gig has left her in no doubt her beloved mum Maria is supporting her from beyond the grave.
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She tells the Daily Star: "I’m over the moon about Bake Off. It’s the dream job. It’s a wonderful opportunity.
"When the news came out, it was my mum’s birthday.
"So I was kind of feeling like, 'Was it my mum?’ I believe she’s watching over me. I believe she’s here.'."
Alison was left heartbroken when Maria died in 2020 after battling lung and liver cancer.
And ever since, it’s been tough not being able to celebrate her success with her.
“Bake Off was one of her favourite programmes, so me getting this job makes me a little bit emotional,” she admits.
“This job is a really big thing. I’m devastated she didn’t get to see it. It’s bittersweet.
“I always felt like I was strong because of my mum. She was always a massive supporter of me. “Whenever I did any television, I would always ring her afterwards and ask, ‘Was that OK?’ and she’d say, ‘You were brilliant’.”
Alison beat a raft of other presenters to land the Bake Off gig after impressing producers at a top-secret audition – which was nowhere near a kitchen.
“It was a weird audition because it was nothing to do with cake,” says Alison.
“It was at a gardening centre. They made me go and interview random people to see if I was good.
“So I didn’t just get this job, I had to audition for it. I actually feel like I’ve earned it. It’s not just been given to me.
“I had to do a screen test with Noel Fielding as well. It went really well. He’s really excited. He’s been texting me, saying ‘You were amazing at the audition and I can’t wait to work with you’.”
Once Alison was hired, she had to keep quiet for three weeks.
But she couldn’t help telling the most important person in her life – her son Aiden.
She admits: “I can’t believe I didn’t tell everybody… you know what my mouth is like! I might have told one person… my son. You’re not supposed to really, but I did tell him.
“He’s just amazing. I’ve done all of my career as a single mum and it was a struggle and you have to make sacrifices. But now I’ve got the most beautiful, lovely boy.
“Although he’s 18, so I can’t say he’s a boy anymore. He’s a man. He’s lovely and I did all that on my own.”
Alison will start filming the new series of Bake Off within weeks and she’s excited to work with judges Prue Leith, 83, and Paul Hollywood, 57, as well as all the contestants.
But the former Big Brother contestant admits she’s mostly looking forward to the free grub.
“When I got the job, I thought, ‘I am just so happy I’m going to have some cake’,” she jokes.
“On the first day on set I’ll be full… full from all the cake! The cake is one of the reasons I took the job, I’m not going to lie.
“I’ll be trying it all. People keep asking me if I’ll bring some cake home. I’ve said, ‘Yeah, of course I will’.”
The Brummie star is on a high with a string of projects on the go at the moment.
And she is enjoying every moment because she hasn’t always been in so much demand.
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She says: “For 20 years I’ve been overlooked. I’ve been in rooms and no one wanted to talk to me. But now everyone wants to talk to me and it’s really nice. I absolutely love it.”
Alison had more success on Wednesday when she won the Media Champion in the Public Eye gong at the British Diversity Awards.
Moments like that have been a long time coming for her.
She admits: “There have been times when I haven’t been awarded anything. We shouldn’t make awards and trophies a really big thing.
“But ultimately when you do win, I kind of like it. But it is bittersweet because my mum would have loved to have seen me win an award. She never did get to see that, which is a little bit sad.”
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