Alison Hammond's ratings blow as viewers switch off For The Love of Dogs

Alison Hammond was hit with a blow as she made her presenting debut on For The Love of Dogs. The TV star is the new host of the hit ITV show, following the passing of former presenter Paul O'Grady in 2023.

The new six-part series kicked off on Tuesday, 16 April with Alison, 49, who also hosts This Morning and the Great British Bake Off, appearing as the host for the first time. However, her new role has divided TV viewers, and this seems to have reflected in the viewing figures.

The episode reached two million viewers at its peak moment. According to ITV ratings, viewing figures averaged double that amount when late star Paul was at the helm, as more than four million viewers tuned in per episode in 2021, according to

Alison is the new host
Alison's debut as host of For the Love of Dogs left fans divided -Credit:ITV

The episode was met with mixed reviews on social media, as some questioned Alison's new role as presenter while others cheered her on. One person wrote on X: "Alison Hammond appears to have no connection, passion or affinity with the dogs as Paul did. Why they chose her is a mystery."

However, others were more supportive of the TV star. One person wrote: "Why is there such hate for her on here? Am I missing something?"

"You were great last night. Paul would have loved you," another penned directly to Alison. A third added: "#AlisonHammond presenting The Love Of Dogs won't be easy, having to follow Paul O'Grady. There is no need for some of the nasty comments. I'm sure we have all been new to a job, and it takes time to settle in."

Paul O'Grady holding a dog in  the countryside
The late Paul O'Grady originally hosted the show -Credit:Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Alison addressed trolls in a recent interview, admitting she was "surprised" by the backlash she received for being appointed the new presenter of For The Love of Dogs. She told The Sun's TV magazine: "I was actually surprised with how much [backlash] 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?’" she added.

Alison Hammond
Alison has hit back at critics over her new role on For The Love of Dogs -Credit:ITV

Alison said the argument was "flawed" and told trolls not to watch if they "don't want to help Battersea". She added: "Trolls will be trolls and I’ll still do what I do best, which is TV presenting and you’ll see for yourself, I think it’s authentic and I loved doing it."