Alison Hammond shares sweet post as fans react to her Paul O'Grady For the Love of Dogs debut

Virgin Radio

17 Apr 2024, 11:39

Alison Hammond smiling as the host of For the Love of Dogs

Credit: Rex

Alison Hammond shared a simple but sweet message on social media as fans reacted to her debut as the new host of Paul O’Grady’s beloved show, For the Love of Dogs.

The This Morning presenter’s first episode as host of the show - which was fronted by O’Grady until his death in March 2023 - aired last night (16th April) on ITV1.

Just ahead of the episode airing on live TV, Alison re-shared a special piece of art to her Instagram to celebrate the show and Paul's legacy, a legacy which she is is helping to continue this year through helming his old show.

The painting shows Alison and Paul walking together along with a group of dogs and cats such as the ones at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home which are introduced to the general public via the programme.

“To follow in your steps is to help every pet find their happily ever after,” the artwork reads. The moving watercolour sketch was painted by artist Lucy Claire, who has been well known for her artwork ever since she painted a watercolour of Queen Elizabeth II and Paddington Bear following the Queen’s death.

Reacting to the Love of Dogs artwork on Lucy’s Instagram page, Alison wrote: “Thank you, it’s just lovely.” She then shared the painting on her own page, writing: “For the love of Dogs. Tonight 8pm @itv @battersea @lucyclaireillustration.”

The painting led many fans to share their support for Alison as she goes on to take Paul’s place on the much loved show. “You’ve got this,” said one fan. “Couldn’t be in better hands, @paulogrady will be walking right beside you smiling.”

“Paul would be pleased you’re carrying on with the work for [Battersea],” another person wrote. Meanwhile a third penned after having watched Alison's first episode of the show: “I was wary of anyone following Paul O’Grady in this role, just finished watching it, and I’ve gotta say you’ve done him proud Alison, fantastic job, be proud of yourself.”

On taking on the role as host of For the Love of Dogs, Alison shared in a statement released in January: “I am very aware that I can never replace the iconic Paul in this wonderful series, but if I can continue to shine a light on the brilliant work done at Battersea and help to tell the stories of these beautiful dogs, then it will be an absolute privilege to give it my all.”

For the Love of Dogs will continue every Tuesday at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX.