Alison Hammond had to use comedy to ‘protect herself’ at school

Alison Hammond used her quick wit to stop bullies picking on her (Picture: rex / CapitalXtra / alisonhammond55)

Alison Hammond has revealed she used comedy as a form of protection from bullies at school after being teased for not being able to read.

The This Morning presenter, 47, admitted she didn’t always find it easy to read, which meant that she had to develop her quick-witted side to clap back at the bullies.

Revealing what she was like at school, Alison explained: ‘I was still quite funny, but it was actually quite… maybe a little bit quieter, always trying to… just not knowing really where I fitted in really and who were my people at the time.

‘But, you know, I was still a little bit loud and, I think, like I said, I struggled with my reading so that was my insecurity.

‘So, if anything, I probably used my comedy and the fact that I was quite funny and quick off the cuff to kind of protect myself.

‘I was a big girl as well, so I did get a little bit of teasing and stuff like that. So, because I was quick and funny, people would stop doing it because they know that they were gonna get cussed down. ‘

Alison admitted on the Capital Xtra Breakfast Show with Yinka and Shayna Marie: ‘It was more of a protection really, my comedy was more of a protection – I would say it first before anyone else could say something, so it was like a protection.’

Although Alison, who has released her own children’s book Black In Time, is now a pro at reading the autocue at work, she admitted a career in television did not seem likely when she was growing up.

Alison revealed: ‘I was so lucky because my mum encouraged me to go and join the Central Television drama workshop which was like a drama club [for people] who couldn’t afford to go to drama school, so we had to audition to get into it.

She says she was an unlikely candidate to become a TV star (Picture: Rex / Shutterstock / ITV)

‘I got into it, from there I really got into reading, it was weird. The team leader, I can remember it, he said “Just read the newspapers aloud, read them aloud in the mirror and that’s how you’ll get good at reading.”

‘So, you don’t understand, when I see myself on TV reading autocue and interviews, you don’t realize where I’m coming from, and how big that is for me to do.’

Reflecting on how far she has come since her Big Brother days, Alison added: ‘It’s massive. It’s like, in my family, I would have been the last person that anyone would have dreamed of being hosting a major daytime TV show with Dermot O’Leary! ‘

Capital XTRA Breakfast with Yinka & Shayna Marie airs Monday – Friday from 6:30 am – 10am.

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MORE: Alison Hammond in tears as Black woman performs leading role in My Fair Lady: ‘It’s such a gift’

MORE: ITV quashes ‘nonsense’ claims Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary are ‘bickering’ backstage on This Morning

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