Graham Norton defends ‘insensitive’ Alison Hammond interview ‘It was my fault’

This Morning: Alison Hammond and Dermot open the show

The Graham Norton Radio Show was back on the airwaves this morning and the new Virgin Radio host spoke about the awkward conversation he had with This Morning presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary on Friday about his dead dog. Reminiscing on the interview – which went viral online – Graham insisted he was to blame for the blunder and defended Alison. 

Now, I meant to say this yesterday,” Graham started. “Big up Alison Hammond she got so much flak for apparently being insensitive or upsetting me. 

“I did This Morning and she said ‘how’s your dog?’ And I said ’It’s dead’.

“And I did it in a deliberate way to be awkward. And it was going to be funny. It was funny,” he confessed. 

“And I think she found it funny and Dermot found it funny. I found it funny. 

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“And people kind of deliberately misrepresented what happened to be horrible to her. 

“So I love Alison Hammond and if there was any awkwardness, it was my fault. I mean, I made it a bad thing. 

“That’s the other thing, I feel like people then think I’m kind of heartless. I was bereft when the dog went, but now I can use it for comedy.”

Friday was Alison and Dermot’s first official day presenting This Morning after they were announced as Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes’ replacements. 

The show did not go without a few hiccups as they settled into the rhythm of delivering the final instalment of the week. 

In Graham’s interview, Alison said: “I love you! Last time I saw you, you were with your dog. I’ve just been told I’m going to get a four-legged friend, have you still got your dog?” 

“No. Dead,” Graham remarked. 

Alison’s face dropped and she profusely apologised, while her co-star Dermot hid his face behind his hand. 

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I’m so sorry, I’m absolutely devastated,” she said. “That’s the worst thing to say, I’m so sorry.”

The embarrassment continued during another interview with Cold Feet actress Fay Ripley. 

Alison asked how she coped with two sons during lockdown, but Fay clarified she had a son and daughter. 

As for Dermot, Clodagh McKenna was in the kitchen for them. 

During her segment when she was showing them and viewers how to make a Irish stew, she turned to Dermot and asked: “Is your Gran in Ireland?” 

“No she’s in heaven,” Dermot said. 

Despite the several mistakes, many ITV viewers took to Twitter to praise Alison and Dermot. 

Many said they were “uplifting and positive” and had won over new fans. 

The Graham Norton Radio Show airs Saturday and Sunday mornings on Virgin Radio and the podcast goes live at 5am tomorrow. 

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