It’s hard to imagine This Morning without Alison Hammond now, but the presenter has revealed the Sliding Doors moment that could have taken her career in a very different direction.
Alison first found fame as a Big Brother housemate way back in 2002, where she caught the eye of This Morning bosses who hired her to conduct a number of their celebrity interviews.
Now a regular presenter on the ITV daytime show, Alison has revealed how the chance to appear on Blind Date and meet Cilla Black instead of going on Big Brother could have seen things turn out very differently for her.
Speaking to Heat magazine, the star said: “I wanted to do Blind Date, because I wanted to meet Cilla Black and I wanted to meet a bloke, so I thought, ‘This is a great thing to do.’ But I was also in a bit of debt, and someone said you could win £70K on Big Brother, so I though, ‘Oh that’s a good idea.’
“It was so weird, because I got both the offers at the same time, and I had to pick and choose. I was so shallow, I didn’t choose love, I chose money!”
She continued: “I always think, ‘What would’ve happened if I’d won Big Brother? Would my career have gone in this direction?’ And I don’t believe it would have, because the This Morning producer who watched my best bits never watched Big Brother, but had just happened to turn on.”
In the interview, Alison also admitted she broke one of Big Brother’s most serious rules before even entering the famous house, as she struggled to keep her appearance a secret as was requested of her.
“I told the world!” she said. “Big Brother literally said whatever you do, don’t tell anyone, the only person you can tell is your mum.
“I told everyone at work, everyone at college, I told the whole world, strangers… I stood in front of the billboard, taking photos and doing a handstand up against it. And no one said anything.”
Alison began hosting one episode of This Morning a week alongside Dermot O’Leary in January, after years as a contributor on the programme.
Alison recently admitted she said a flat “no” to TV bosses when she was asked to take over.
Speaking to Fabulous magazine, she recalled: “I was like: ‘No, I’m not doing that. It’s massive.’ I’d done Fridays before with Rylan [Clark-Neal], but this was committing to every week. I kept thinking: ‘What if I don’t want to do that Friday?’
“The whole time at This Morning I could say yes or no and I could get out of it, but now it’s ‘Fridays are your day’. It was daunting.”
Read the full interview with Alison in this week’s Heat magazine, on sale now.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.