West Midlands Police are investigating claims of blackmail targeted against TV presenter Alison Hammond.
The 48-year-old regularly presents ITV’s This Morning alongside Dermot O’Leary and was recently announced as the new co-host of The Great British Bake Off.
In a statement, West Midlands Police said: “We are investigating an allegation of blackmail of a woman in her 40s.
“We take reports of this kind very seriously and our inquiries are progressing swiftly.”
According to reports in The Sun newspaper on Saturday, Hammond was blackmailed for large sums of money and a £5,000 BMW.
The newspaper reported that the mother-of-one was put under pressure by her blackmailer, who threatened to spread lies about her in an effort to damage her career if she did not co-operate with the demands.
They claim Alison – who last week was announced as a replacement for Matt Lucas on The Great British Bake Off – said: “I trusted this guy who, it turns out, was only interested in my money. I thought he valued our friendship. I now know he only wanted me to fund his life of luxury.”
The mystery figure – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – is alleged to have blackmailed the mum-of-one over a period of eight months.
The inside source also claims that Alison had previously offered to pay a large sum of money for his rehab treatment to help kick his issues with drugs, but he is said to have taken advantage of her.
The Sun also claims that pals of the star say Alison is scared for her and her family’s safety after “turning off the tap” of cash to report him.
They claim Alison said: “Out of the blue he said he could tell lies to make people think less of me, it was alarming. I'm a very generous person and was happy to spend money on him, I wanted to help him.”
Birmingham-born Hammond rose to fame as a contestant on the third series of Big Brother in 2002 and joined This Morning in the same year.
She currently presents the weekday daytime show with O’Leary on Friday mornings and has has gone on to appear in multiple reality shows including I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, Celebrity Coach Trip, Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity MasterChef.
More recently, she appeared alongside actor Richard E Grant to host the 2023 Baftas.
It was confirmed last week that Hammond will take over from Matt Lucas to present the upcoming series of Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off alongside comedian Noel Fielding.
OK! has contacted Hammond’s representatives for comment.
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