Alison Hammond ‘initially turned down role to replace Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes on This Morning’

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Alison Hammond reportedly initially turned down her new role as a TV presenter on This Morning with Dermot O'Leary before eventually accepting.

The 45 year old was offered the incredible job back in November, just months after sources revealed ITV were looking to hire a black presenter as part of their "diversity acceleration plan".

However, Mail on Sunday have now claimed the star first declined the opportunity out of fear that it would be perceived as "tokenism," which left her feeling "uncomfortable".

An insider told the publication that Alison was happy to remain as an entertainment reporter and interview Hollywood stars, but ITV editor Martin Frizell persuaded her to take on the promotion.

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One source said: "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.

"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."

They added: "Alison was happy as she was, she loved interviewing the likes of George Clooney. She is amazing at it and it was enough for her."

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According to the publication, the Big Brother star was also unsure about taking the place of Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes, but was reassured by a close friend that she should take the job.

A spokesman for ITV and Alison said on Saturday night: "To suggest that Alison’s position on This Morning is a result of anything other than talent and popularity with viewers is completely untrue."

OK! Online has approached Alison's representatives for further comment.

Inside This Morning hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes' stunning Surrey mansion complete with man cave and huge garden

It comes as the star reportedly faced backlash after the announcement was made earlier this year.

As a result, the presenter, who recently confessed that not all This Morning presenters are friends, has been claimed to have been having meetings with bosses after struggling.

A source told The Sun: "Alison is a tough cookie, but the vitriol from some so-called fans of This Morning has been impossible for her to ignore.

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"As a result of Love Island and Jeremy Kyle tragedies, ITV are very serious about duty of care and arranged to sit down with Alison to see how she was coping."

"Alison confided that while the Friday gig is her dream come true, staying positive had become a battle," the insider continued.

"She was given advice on how to stay strong mentally and prepared for what to expect after the announcement was confirmed. Now Alison is determined to move on from the drama and prove to everyone why she deserved this job," the source concluded.

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