Alison Hammond ‘turned down’ This Morning job before replacing Ruth Langsford

Alison Hammond was reportedly not too keen about her new Friday hosting gig on This Morning initially, before it was announced she would be replacing Ruth Langsford.

The former Big Brother star will join Dermot O'Leary on Friday episodes of the show, replacing Ruth and her husband Eamonn Holmes.

But, according to the Mail on Sunday, Alison was initially concerned that her new job could be seen as "tokenism".

The promotion came just months after This Morning's editor Martin Frizell told staff that he was wanting to bring in a black presenter.

A source told the publication: "Alison has been on This Morning for more than a decade and had never been offered this job before.

"Then Martin makes a big announcement that he wants a black presenter and she is wanted for the role."

The source continued: "ITV decided last year they wanted diversity on their programmes and then they decided to offer the presenting job to Alison. If you look up the dictionary definition of what tokenism means, then this is it."

The anonymous insider added that Alison had been "happy" in the role she already held, interviewing A-list stars for hilarious segments.

But an ITV spokesperson slammed the suggestions of "tokenism", and said: "To suggest that Alison's position on This Morning is a result of anything other than talent and popularity with viewers is completely untrue."

Ruth and Eamonn had their last Friday episode earlier this month, before they are replaced by Alison and Dermot.

Alison paid tribute to the legendary duo, who had been fighting back tears during the episode.

She tagged the both of them on Twitter, writing: "A class above the rest," and a heart emoji.

Eamonn and Ruth will no longer appear during their weekly Friday slot, but will host This Morning during school holidays.

They'll be back in February, and Eamonn sent a grateful message to his followers on Twitter after his final Friday show.

"Bye bye to you all on a Friday folks… hopefully see you next February for half-term This Morning. Thanks for having us and please have a safe and Merry Christmas."

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