Alison Hammond of This Morning is set to take over hosting the late Paul O’Grady’s series For the Love of Dogs.
From 2012 till last year, the reality documentary television show based at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home followed the people and the animals they cared for.
In each episode, O’Grady would meet a couple of the dogs that came to Battersea as strays or because their owners couldn’t care for them any longer, before following their journey through the house.
However, after 11 seasons, it appears to have come to a stop with O’Grady’s death at the age of 67 in March.
However, ITV is said to be aiming to keep it going with a new host, Alison at the helm.
She is thought to be the programme’s ‘ideal caretaker’.
‘Paul is obviously irreplaceable, but they believe that not only does Alison bring some of Paul’s trademark self-deprecating humour to proceedings, but that she can also make it her own, just as Paul did,’ a source told The Mirror.
Previous candidates cited as being in the running were comedian Ricky Gervais, 62, TV and radio presenter Amanda Holden, 52, and actor Martin Clunes, 62.
However, Ricky promptly ruled himself out, saying: ‘I was asked, but I said no because I’m terrified. ‘Just too busy.’
Alison, who is currently a co-host on This Morning, also appeared in Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off last year.
According to the source, Allison would be a wonderful signing. and, as her ever-expanding portfolio of exhibitions reveals, capable of tackling any project.
O’Grady had a close relationship with the South London rescue shelter and acquired numerous dogs from there, including mongrels Arfur and Nancy, shih-tzu Boycie, chihuahua/Jack Russell cross Eddie and a dachshund named Sausage.
He stayed as a volunteer at the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home for six months, despite the fact that he was only supposed to shoot for six days.
At the end of the first season, he was invited to become the home’s ambassador.
Following his death, Battersea dedicated its veterinary hospital in O’Grady’s memory and established a commemorative fund to raise £480,000.
The singer planned to contribute £100,000 of the sum to five more animal organisations important to his heart, with each receiving £20,000.
This Morning airs weekdays from 9am on ITV1. For The Love of Dogs is streaming on ITVX.