Alison Hammond has detailed growing up with her late father, a drug dealer, Clifford, who she described as “sleazy”.
The This Morning presenter, 46, opened up about her father – who died in 2020 – and his less than savory lifestyle in his book You’ve Got To Laugh, with excerpts serialized in The Mirror.
And in his memoir, the star recalled spending time with Clifford, who had separated from his late mother Maria, and how he was both “respected and feared” within his community in Jamaica.
Memories: Alison Hammond detailed growing up with her late drug dealer father Clifford, whom she described as ‘sleazy’
Alison’s mum, from Birmingham, only found out that Clifford, who imported lorries between the UK and the Caribbean, married with children once she was pregnant with Alison.
And although she was raised alone by her mother, Alison still had contact with her father, recounting an occasion he had visited from Jamaica, coming to her mother’s house straight from the airport.
She said: “One day he came straight to our house from the airport. See those boots? ! he said smiling at his feet. “These are the most expensive pair of snakeskin boots in the world.” “Why are they so expensive?” asked my mother. He bent down, opened a boot, and a load of ganja fell.
Dad: The This Morning presenter, 46, opened up about her father – who died in 2020 – and his less than savory lifestyle in his book You’ve Got To Laugh, with excerpts serialized in The Mirror
‘It was my father! Cliff was charismatic and charming, but he was mean. He was smuggling drugs into the country back when people could get away with it, before they introduced sniffer dogs and body scanners at the airport.
Despite her fondness for her dad, Alison confessed she was “embarrassed to admit” that the cash rolls he gave her mum on her visits were probably from “ganja trafficking”, with the star remarking: “So sleazy!”
In her book, Alison – who rose to fame on Big Brother in 2002 – explained how Clifford ‘definitely had the lifestyle’ and would shower her with gifts and give her Chinese takeaways, which at the time was considered a ‘luxury’.
And while she was treated like a princess by Clifford, the businessman was treated like a ‘king’ in his native Jamaica, his powerful presence leaving locals ‘uncomfortable’ – probably because of the gun of hunting he was carrying with him.
Childhood: In his memoir, the star recalls spending time with Clifford, who had separated from his late mother Maria, and how he was both ‘respected and feared’ in Jamaica
Story: While raised alone by her mother, Alison was still in contact with her father, recounting an occasion he visited from Jamaica (pictured with mum Maria)
She said: “You could tell by the way people were talking about him that he was respected and feared in the community. They called him Mr. Hammond and you could see the unease in their eyes when they talked to him. I’m not surprised either, because he was driving everywhere with a huge shotgun hidden under his van. He didn’t screw up.
Clifford died in June 2020, just four months after Alison’s beloved mother Maria lost her battle with liver and lung cancer.
Taking to Instagram at the time, the TV presenter shared her sadness at not spending much time with him and not being able to attend his funeral.
She wrote: ‘This is my real dad, Clifford Hammond, who passed away last week in Jamaica.
“I am saddened that I cannot attend his funeral and saddened that he is not a part of my life as much as I would have liked…but I still have a sense of loss and emptiness. Sleep well daddy, love leaves a memory no one can steal. TEAR.’
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Alison shared a loving tribute to her mother Maria on the anniversary of her death.
The TV personality took to Instagram to mark two years since her late mother passed away from liver and lung cancer.
Alongside a snap of her beloved mother in her youth, Alison wrote: ‘Mom, two years today you left me and the pain has never left my heart.
So sad: Meanwhile, on Thursday, Alison shared a loving tribute to her mother Maria on the anniversary of her death
She continued, “I love you and miss you so much. I hear and feel you all the time. My Angel Maria ❤️❤️❤️’
The star was inundated with messages of support from her close friends and celebrity friends.
Holly Willoughby wrote: ‘Ah Alison…sending you huge love ❤️’
While her colleague Ruth Langsford wrote: ‘Oh honey…sending you so much love and one of my big hugs. Your mom was and always will be. SO proud of you ❤️’
Close friend Kate Lawler wrote: ‘What a beautiful photo of your mum. She’ll be so proud of everything you’ve accomplished since she died darling x ❤️’
Alongside a snap of her beloved mother in her youth, Alison wrote: ‘Mom, two years old today you left me and the pain never left my heart
Alison’s mother, from Guyana, tragically died in January 2020 and the star dad, who lives in Jamaica, also died in June of that year.
Breaking the sad news at the time, the former Big Brother star shared a series of photos of her mother – one of which showed her smiling in a yellow top as she sat on a hospital bed.
Alison wrote: “I dedicate Valentine’s Day to my beautiful and wonderful mother Maria who passed away from liver and lung cancer.”
Sweet: Breaking the sad news at the time, the former Big Brother star shared a series of photos of his mother
“Yesterday my family and I celebrated her incredible life and buried her in a beautiful ceremony that she would have been proud of.
‘Thank you mom for giving me the strength to move on knowing that you are fine and with God in heaven now. I will always remember you and try to make you proud. I love you mom.’
The star added on Twitter: “RIP my best friend and Living Angel, please come into my dreams.”
Alison wrote: “I dedicate Valentine’s Day to my beautiful and wonderful mother Maria who passed away from liver and lung cancer”